Hmmmm, when will I get my revenge, asks Gandalf. Picture Glenn Hampson
Hmmmm, when will I get my revenge, asks Gandalf. Picture Glenn Hampson

Why this cockatoo hates the vet who saved him

FOR 15 years, Gandalf the cockatoo held a grudge against the vet that saved his life.

Dr Michael Pyne had just begun working at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital when a young Gandalf came to the clinic.

The bird was diagnosed with a bone cancer never before seen in a cockatoo, on the tip of his wing, and Dr Pyne was left with no choice but to amputate at the first joint.

And he says Gandalf is only now starting to forgive him.

 

"Cockatoos have good memories, long memories," Dr Pyne laughs.

"Really, up until about five years ago he'd have a go at me. He still gets that look in his eye like 'I'll get you back one day'.

"He knows that I operated on him … I would have given him injections and things like that, they're really smart birds. But he's a good guy, he tolerates me now."

While Gandalf can't fly anymore, the 20-year-old bird performs as part of the sanctuary's bird show, where he puts money donations in a tin.

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Vet Dr Michael Pyne with one of his first patients, Gandolf the Sulphur Crested cockatoo. Picture Glenn Hampson
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Vet Dr Michael Pyne with one of his first patients, Gandolf the Sulphur Crested cockatoo. Picture Glenn Hampson

The wildlife hospital will celebrate its 30th year of operation saving animals such as Gandalf this year.

It costs about $1 million each year to tend to 11,000 injured wildlife.

The hospital's largest donation drive of the year, the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation Benefit Under the Stars, hopes to raise just a fraction of those enormous costs - $50,000.

Dr Pyne said there were still about 70 tickets left and urged residents to support the animal hospital.

"Year after year our admissions go up, it's a tide you can't push against," he said.

"Every year I think we'll have fewer animals than the year before but I'm wrong, we're always having to find more funds just to keep our heads above water."

Tickets can be purchased at the Currumbin Sanctuary website. Residents can also bid online via a silent auction or donate directly to the hospital.

Under the Stars will be held next Saturday((((On May 25)) when residents will be able to meet the wildlife and enjoy a dinner under the stars.



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