Over the years the vet department at the Zoo has seen many wild cockatoos with fractures and have used a variety of techniques to give them a fighting chance of recovery.
Lucky for this red-tailed cockatoo, believed to be a young female, the vets had success with a repair technique known as a ‘tie in fixator.’
It’s a technique that has often been used on humans with broken bones, but it can be very challenging with a small animal.
Perth Zoo Senior Veterinarian, Simone Vitali said: “What it involves is threading a pin through the middle of the bone to bring the two fractured pieces together.”
“We also use pins that are bonded externally to keep everything stable while the bone heals.”
One of the main challenges faced during the healing process was ensuring the cockatoo did not bite at the fixator on its leg.
“Previously we have had birds chew through pins and metal if they are unhappy with attachments they can see,” Simone said.
“This cockatoo has behaved really well because we had the minimum amount of metal attached to the fractured leg, and we had it carefully splinted to keep it away from her beak!”
The bones healed within just one month and now the red-tailed cockatoo is on her way to rehabilitation with Native Animal Rescue.
“We are fairly confident she will be able to be released into the wild again after her rehabilitation,” Simone said.
“She has made a fantastic recovery and the bone appears nice and strong!”
See the video below, including x-ray images, to see how well this Forest Red-tailed Cockatoo has recovered from her injury.
Perth Zoo works in collaboration with, Native Animal Rescue, Parks and Wildlife Service, Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre, Jamarri Black Cockatoo Sanctuary and Murdoch University to give hundreds of black cockatoos a second chance for life in the wild.