Shuswap vets care for injured Great Blue Heron

The bird was found on the foreshore Thursday, Oct. 27, and will be transferred to the Kamloops Wildlife Park, for additional treatment.

Vet technician Lisa Rownd holds an injured great blue heron that was found in the Salmon Arm foreshore bird sanctuary

A great blue heron found with an injured wing in Salmon Arm is expected to make a full recovery.

The bird was found on a trail in the foreshore bird sanctuary, said Shuswap Veterinary Clinic practice manager Jim McEwan.

The heron had a protruding bone on one of its wings. The clinic took X-rays and sent them to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops, where it was determined that the bird would survive.

“We provide some stability, follow the direction of the wildlife park and get it to them as soon as possible,” he said.

This is the first great blue heron the clinic has treated, but McEwan said finding injured birds is common, especially beside roads.

“We probably receive around 10 to 20 a year,” he said.

The bird was found Thursday, Oct. 27, and was sent to Kamloops Friday, Oct. 28 where it will require stitches and possibly surgery.

The cause of the injury was undetermined, but McEwan said the bird is a young one, so it might have flown into a tree.

The clinic has protocols and basic care for wild animals, but injured wildlife found in Salmon Arm is sent to Kamloops.

If injured wildlife is found, McEwan said to call the Kamloops Wildlife Park. He also noted, “some injured animals you don’t touch and don’t pick up.”

The Shuswap vet also offers advice if the park can’t be reached.

Covering an injured bird with a blanket is a way to calm the animal, but in general you shouldn’t touch any wild creatures and should call the experts, he said.

Bats  should not be touched, as they are the most common carrier of rabies in B.C.