The Bearded Vulture is known for its incredible ability to swallow and digest bones, even ones the size of a sheep’s vertebrae. But unfortunately, sometimes individuals accidentally swallow hazardous items that put their lives at risk – there are cases with tubes and even an axe! One such case recently occurred in Georgia, when a Bearded Vulture swallowed a utility knife. Thankfully, the vulture received help in time, and it seems that everything will turn out alright.
Bearded Vulture in distress rescued in Georgia
A local citizen in Nichbisi, Georgia, recently discovered a Bearded Vulture unable to fly and informed Tbilisi zoo, who took in the bird. The zookeepers provided a safe space, food and fluids, and after the first few days, the vulture calmed down, making it safer to undergo additional examinations. So, staff from Nature Conservation Georgia and Tbilisi zoo visited the Veterinary Clinic Vetex to have a better look at the bird’s condition. An x-ray revealed what was wrong – the Bearded Vulture swallowed a 20 cm long utility knife.
Challenging operation a success
Sandro Bagatelia, an experienced veterinarian qualified in bird medicine, and his team decided to remove the knife as soon as possible, which required a rather complicated and ambitious operation. Using a gastroscope and small manipulators, the Vetex team managed to safely remove the knife from the vulture’s gastrointestinal tract without causing bleeding or other damage. Now, the Bearded Vulture is undergoing rehabilitation in Tbilisi zoo, where it receives fluids, prescribed medicines and proper food. We hope the vulture makes a full recovery and returns to the wild soon!
Well done to all parties involved for their contribution in saving the Bearded Vulture: the Veterinary Clinic Vetex for performing the operation, the zoo for their rehabilitation efforts and Nature Conservation Georgia for covering all the related expenses.