Birdworld, Farnham are pleased to announce that rescued Emu, Forest is now a proud father. With a dreadful start to life no-one would believe that 5 years ago this emu was lonely and deprived of the life he should have had.
Back in 2014, an animal park in Scotland hit the headlines with a host of horrifying stories of animal suffering and welfare issues. Following the closure of the park to the public, the local council called in Specialist Wildlife Services (SWS) to work in conjunction with their officers to assess the welfare of the park’s 76 species.
Among these animals they found Forest, nicknamed by the keepers, he was found in horrendous conditions. SWS were horrified to find him alone and in a stable that was almost pitch black. With no access to the company of other birds or enrichment of any kind, he had developed the symptoms of sensory and social deprivation, and stereotypical behaviour such as head throwing, pacing and feather plucking. It was initially uncertain whether Forest had any vision at all as his reaction to movement was severely compromised and an early prognosis by the vets in attendance was that he may have to be euthanised.
After a comprehensive assessment, it soon became apparent that with considerable changes to the environment and the correct care and attention, Forest’s life could be turned around. Birdworld were contacted and immediately offered to help this poor suffering bird. With the knowledge from the Avian specialists working at Birdworld they were able to propose a plan to offer Forest the rehabilitation he needed in order to provide him with a new life in an open-air paddock with other Emu’s.
With extensive veterinary treatment, spacious housing and the correct diet as-well as additional enrichment programs the keepers at Birdworld were able to correct his stereotypical behaviour and gradually, he was introduced to the open-air paddock with two other female companions.
Since his introduction to Matilda and Maisie, Forest has maintained a healthy and natural life resulting in the female’s producing fertile eggs. Some of these eggs were sent to Beale Wildlife Park near Reading and have since hatched! 3 gorgeous Emu chicks are now in the care of the dedicated bird team and are expected to be fully grown in just 6 months. As the second largest bird in the world this species is known for their long, powerful legs and distinct grunting, booming and drumming sounds.
Help your kids step away from the screens this half term and head to Memorial Park in Redhill (Surrey) to have a go at spotting the birds nesting in 22 new colourfully decorated bird boxes installed around the park by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.
The uniquely designed boxes and accompanying trail leaflets aim to encourage visitors to the park to spot the colourful boxes and birds nesting in them, while also benefitting the wildlife that inhabits the park. Keep your eyes peeled for blue tits, great tits, robins and thrushes, and even bats!
The trail – which is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly – was installed earlier in spring before bird nesting season began by the Council’s Greenspaces team. The boxes were created by the Men in Sheds Group at Furnistore in Redhill, and decorated by local artists and council staff,
Cllr Alex Horwood, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The 22 bird boxes make a wonderful addition to the park. Not only do they show off the skills of our many talented local artists, but they also encourage us to get back to nature and appreciate the bird life that our greenspaces bring to us as visitors to the park.
“The trail forms part of our work to encourage healthy lifestyles through making our open spaces more accessible, fun and educational. I would encourage residents to take time to explore the trail, see how many nest boxes you can find and spot what is living in them.”
The new installations follow the success of the Earlswood Lakes Bird Box trail in 2018, where 23 bird boxes can be found in trees around the lake.
Find the trail at Memorial Park, London Road, Redhill RH1 1SZ. Trail leaflets are available to pick up at the Park’s pavilion cafe. To find out more visit: www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/memorialpark.
If you visit the trail be sure to tag us in your pictures on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on @reigatebanstead using the hashtags #LookUp and #SpotTheBox – we’ll share the best ones.