Five out of seven young scarlet macaws that were found with a poacher last week have survived the incident and are well on their way to being reintroduced into the wild. Reporter Courtney Menzies found out more about how their recovery is coming along.
Courtney Menzies, Love FM News: Five young Scarlet Macaws are currently undergoing rehabilitation after they were poached from the Chiquibul Forest last week. The poacher 36-year-old Porfilio Ramirez de Quiroz, a Guatemalan, was shot by a ranger from the Friends for Conservation and Development after he was caught with the birds on June 7. He was arrested by police and his victims were sent to the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic until they can be released into the wild. The director of the clinic Dr.Isabel Duran explained the rehabilitation process.
Dr. Isabel Duran, Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic: “It will take about sixty to ninety days to bring them through them through the process of rehabilitation and in that process it’s a science, one has to resemble the natural conditions as much as possible but the good news is that it is possible it has been done for a long time in other countries around us and we have also had some experiences here of rearing chicks for immediate reintroduction. Well it takes a daily process for them is feeding and enrichment and then eventually will come flight practice and then it goes into a soft release where they’re still monitored after a while after release and if necessary provided some supplemental food before they go on their own. In the wild they feed mostly on seeds or that’s what we find on their crops. When we hand rear them we have a specialized formula for Scarlet Macaws that again came recommended from other organizations and centers and we’ve used it here as well. They feed in the beginning more often five times, at this point they feed three times per day and they’re soon going to start being introduced to natural fruits as well.”
Dr. Isabel Duran, Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic: The macaws are currently between thirty and sixty days old and will be mature in about ninety to a hundred days. According to Dr.Duran the poaching should have no effect on their ability to thrive in the wild.”