One relentless cockatoo has proven that cats aren’t the only animal with multiple lives.
While its name could be a play on words, it’s easy to see why one Australian bird has been dubbed Mr. Cocky — the creature survived not one, but five, gunshot wounds.
A Sydney citizen found the sulphur-crested cockatoo last month and took it to the nearby Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital (AREPH).
The bird reportedly had one pellet lodged in its eye and four other small bullets stuck throughout its body. The bullets came from two different guns, according to the pet hospital.
AREPH took to its official Facebook page to raise awareness about the act of animal cruelty.
The pet hospital shared side-by-side images of the exotic bird’s X-ray and the actual bird looking alert and well.
“This unfortunate cockatoo recently came into AREPH after a Good Samaritan found him in their backyard and unable to fly,” the post reads. “To say he is one lucky bird is an understatement.”
AREPH says none of the pellets pose a major threat to its vital organs or seem like they will cause any long-term problems. The hospital, therefore, has chosen to leave the bullets where they are.
Speaking to the Guardian, the veterinarian responsible for the pellet discovery said the reason for the attack isn’t known.
“ are pretty loud,” Lorenzo Crosta explained. “Maybe it was annoying someone, or maybe two kids being stupid. Maybe he was just really unlucky and got shot by one person and flew away and got shot by someone else.”
Crosta went on to say that an injured bird who cannot be returned to the wild would usually be put down. But the case of Mr. Cocky was different.
“When we receive a wild bird we first do a triage and if there is a chance we can fix them, we fix them. Otherwise, if the bird cannot go back to the wild, it unfortunately goes immediately to meet its ancestors,” he said.
“In this case we thought, OK, he is moving the wing he seems to be OK, so why not?”
According to the organization, the penalty for shooting a cockatoo under Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Act of 2016 is a fine of up to $22,000 for an individual.
This survivor of a bird made quite an impact on animal lovers online, with one Facebook user commenting: “There are some seriously sick people in this world, I hope karma doles out her punishment with prejudice.”
Another commented: “Get better, dear cheeky bird. Rotten people for shooting him.”
The sulphur-crested cockatoo typically lives 20 to 40 years.
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