A Thanksgiving Tale

The wildlife clinic is caring for this sick turkey

By Naomi Leach, Marketing and PR Coordinator

As the gobble, gobble holiday approaches, at least one turkey has reason to give thanks, to the staff at the Schuylkill Center’s Wildlife Rehab Clinic, who are working hard to save its life.  The turkey was brought into the clinic Wednesday injured and very sick.  Clinic staff are working to rehydrate and feed the emaciated bird and evaluate its condition, with the hope of eventually releasing it back into the wild.

The story began with a call to the clinic by a woman who found what she believed to be a turkey vulture lying hurt on the side of the road in Eagleville. The clinic staff provided instructions on how to safely contain and transport the animal to the shelter in a cardboard box. When the woman arrived at the clinic, it turned out that the animal in the box was not a turkey vulture, but an actual turkey.

The turkey’s coloring and behavior indicate that it is most likely a wild bird, “But it’s impossible to be sure,” says our clinic director Rick Schubert, “especially considering the time of year.”

At this point, the bird’s prognosis is uncertain.  It has some sort of infection. Rick thinnks it may be avian pox virus.  The clinic’s veterinarians and  colleagues at other rehab centers are helping Rick diagnosis it.  If it is a serious case of the virus, the bird might not make it.  For now, however, the bird is being given frequent fluid therapy and antibiotics.

(NOTE: Avian pox virus cannot be transmitted to humans or other mammals. It only affects birds.)

Everyone here at SCEE is keeping their fingers crossed that this turkey, for one, makes it through the Thanksgiving holiday alive and well.

Thanks to The Roxborough Review for running a story on the turkey.  You can check it out at: montgomerynews.com.