Who remembers the devastating hailstorm of 2010? Many of you possibly suffered house, vehicle, and property damage, but did you know an endangered species was also a hailstorm victim? 

Sadly, many endangered cockatoos were battered and pummelled in the freak storm. Our vet team received multiple cockatoos with severe head injuries and broken limbs. In most cases the damage caused was so extensive the kindest thing we could do for them was to end their suffering.  But this isn’t a completely sad story…

Thanks to the hard work of our veterinary team, 13 ‘hailstorm’ Carnaby’s cockatoos were successfully treated and released into wild habitat at Kings Park. Each cockatoo was fitted with a microchip and a unique leg band number. And so, on a wing and a prayer we set them free, hoping they’d thrive in the wild. 

Now, more than 10 years later two different ‘hailstorm’ birds have been spotted living large in the wild! 

In 2019, one cockatoo was recorded about 26km east of Kings Park and it was then seen a second time in September 2020.

And most recently in December this year, a second individual was seen in that same area 26km north of Kings Park – a long 11 years and eight months after its release!

Given our feathery friends are endangered in the wild, the survival of each individual cockatoo makes a big impact on the on-going conservation of the species. 

Not only does this recent sighting make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, it indicates how saving one individual can have a long-term impact on the species as a whole. 

You can help us save wildlife and contribute to our vital conservation work by donating to Perth Zoo here.

Photo credit: Kayley Usher