Injured Woodpecker Finds New Home at the Minnesota Zoo
Apple Valley, MN – May 18, 2012 – A very lucky pileated woodpecker has found a new home at the Minnesota Zoo after being cared for at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC) in Roseville.
The young male woodpecker was brought from Hamel, Minnesota to the WRC on June 16, 2011. Injured in the wild after falling from a nest, the bird was unable to lift his neck and suffered from other neurological ailments due to his injury.
That’s where the Minnesota Zoo stepped in. The Zoo had been looking for a pileated woodpecker for its Aviary on the Medtronic Minnesota Trail. Upon hearing that the WRC wanted to find a home for this striking bird, the Zoo’s aviary staff expressed interest and received the bird in early fall.
Since his arrival at the Minnesota Zoo, the woodpecker – who has not yet been named – has been improving every day. Zoo keepers had to wait until the weather got warmer to make sure he was able to maneuver his new exhibit, so during the winter and spring months, they worked with him behind-the- scenes in a large area – complete with logs, stumps, and tree branches – to “teach” him how to be a woodpecker, to the best of his ability. “We are pleased to work in cooperation with WRC to provide a home for this wonderful bird, at our Medtronic Minnesota Trail where millions of zoo guests will have a chance to appreciate him,” said Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke. “Our bird department, led by Supervisor Jimmy Pichner, has a great deal of experience working with woodpeckers, so we are well-prepared to provide expert care for a species not often exhibited in zoos.”
Adds Phil Jenni, WRC executive director: “Everyone involved, from the veterinary staff to the avian interns and volunteers, invested a lot of time helping this severely injured patient. Pileated woodpeckers are very charismatic birds, and it’s wonderful that thousands of families will now have the chance to see this incredible species at the Minnesota Zoo.”
About the WRC: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC) is an emergency veterinary hospital hat provides free medical care for more than 200 different species of injured and orphaned wild animals. WRC is located at 2530 Dale Street, Roseville. For more information please call 651.486.9453 or visit wrcmn.org.