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Ring-billed Gull Recovers from Two Fractured Wings at SFWC

Thanks to SFWC’s expert veterinarian staff, a Ring-billed Gull was able to make a full recovery despite two fractured wings

  • The Ring-billed Gull enjoying our seabird habitat after being released from the hospital. SFWC

  • The Ring-billed Gull enjoying our seabird habitat after being released from the hospital. SFWC

  • The gull enjoying our outdoor habitat with another seabird patient. SFWC

  • The gull stepping out of his carrier at the release site, right before he took off. SFWC

  • The Ring-billed Gull testing out the beach, getting ready to take off, with one of our other newly released seabird patients. SFWC

  • After weeks of recovery, this Ring-billed Gull's wings are as good as new as he takes off into the sky. SFWC

  • After weeks of recovery, this Ring-billed Gull's wings are as good as new as he takes off into the sky. SFWC

South Florida Wildlife Center is incredibly lucky to have extremely talented veterinarians on our staff. And one of our most recent patients—a Ring-billed Gull with two injured wings—put our staff’s expertise to the test.

The injured gull was brought in through our wildlife rescue ambulance. X-rays showed the gull had bilateral wing fractures, meaning fractures to both wings. Our hospital staff cleaned the wounds on the bird’s wings from the fracture sites and gave medication to help with pain and ward off any infection.

The next day, the gull was prepped for surgery, on not just one, but both of his wings. Two of our veterinarians operated on the gull in what turned out to be a very intricate surgery. The fractures were repaired with pins to ensure proper alignment of the wings, which were also bandaged to prevent rotation during the healing process.

After surgery, the gull was kept in the hospital under close observation. He had regular K-Laser therapy every few days, in conjunction with bandage changes, to aid in the healing process. After about two weeks, he was moved into our outdoor seabird rehabilitation habitat with other gulls and terns, where he continued to heal and strengthen his flight ability.

After a few more weeks, our veterinarians determined the gull’s fractures had healed well enough to have the pins removed and for him to be released back into the wild. The gull was taken to a release spot at one of our beautiful South Florida beaches, where he happily flew off with a few of our other recovered seabird patients.

Seabirds are incredibly delicate creatures, and even injuries that appear minor can require a great deal of expertise to treat and ensure successful release back into the wild. We are lucky to have the expert staff we do, but SFWC could not do it without your continued support. Please consider making a donation to South Florida Wildlife Center to ensure we can help the wildlife of South Florida 365 days a year.

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