ETX man rescues injured roadrunner, local vet performs surgery | Community Spirit
Another heart-warming story of East Texans coming to the rescue of hurt or abused animals for you today, this one submitted by Veterinarian Cherie Nazzal of Gilmer:
“Wynn” Romere, from Insight Remodeling in Gilmer, noticed a long-legged bird on the ground limping on its left leg. Upon further examination, he concluded it was a roadrunner, which usually lives in the southwest desert of the United States or Mexico.
Wynn befriended the roadrunner by feeding it a raw chicken breast. After several unsuccessful attempts to capture it, he finally caught the injured bird and brought it to Dr. Cherie Nazzal at Animal Medical and Surgical Hospital in Gilmer.
Dr. Nazzal obtained x-rays and determined it had two broken bones, the tibia and fibula, which equates to our shin bones. She anesthetized it and proceeded to pin the broken leg bones with four intramedullary pins and circlage wire.
“We had to use pins smaller than the size of small sewing needles and they had to be hollow to accommodate the bird’s bone and not weigh it down,” stated Dr. Nazzal.
The anesthesia and surgery were difficult but successful. Post operative x-rays showed proper placement of the pins.
After surgery, the roadrunner was fed almost a whole ribeye steak, which he ate with great enthusiasm. Wynn took him back to the original habitat three days later for rehab. He made sure the roadrunner was in sight of its mate and fed him dozens of crickets.
The name roadrunner comes from the bird's habit of racing down roads in front of moving vehicles and then darting to safety in the brush. It feeds on insects, small reptiles, snakes, small mammals, and other living creatures. It kills with a blow from the beak, hitting the base of the neck of the prey, and beating it against a rock.
The roadrunner spends most of its time on the ground and can run at speeds of 26 miles per hour, which is the fastest running speed ever clocked for flying birds.
It is against federal and state laws to “own” most wild birds, except crows and sparrows. "We are allowed to treat the injured birds but making them a pet is illegal," said Dr. Nazzal.