Starting Falconry and Wildlife Rehabilitation… (Day 518)

Examination of a wild pine martin in wildlife rehabilitation

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Pet Hooligans

So today was another early start with pathophysiology at 7:15 which is one of my favourite subjects as it is so logical and actually answers my “why” questions when it comes to pathological processes within the body. At the moment it is the cardiac system that we are studying. Anyways today I want to talk about something slightly more exciting for me as it is a field I am very interested in entering after I graduate.

I started my Falconry and Wildlife Rehabilitation elective today, I am very lucky as the university has one of the best avian vets in the world as chief of the exotics clinical department and he is the one taking this course. The session today started with some theory around the start of falconry and the legislation and laws when it comes to wild animals here in Slovakia along with the difference between population and individual conservation.

Paraphrasing some of the class here quickly without any references or own research apparently falconry started out of need rather than sport. A long time ago in colder countries when food was very scarce in the winter someone noticed that the path of migratory birds was overhead. They then noticed that falcons killed and fed on the smaller birds so managed to trap a falcon. Keeping this bird hungry when the migratory birds flew overhead they released it and so it brought some of these migratory birds to ground allowing the man to eat. From this time falcons became a sought after bird as they allowed the household to eat through the winter, and so became of great value and the techniques for training were further developed.

After this time of need, it then became a hunting sport much later, with strict rules on training and entry into the “hunters guild” at least in Slovakia. We were then taught the post-mortem technique for these birds, and practiced this on several birds that had been found dead recently to look for a cause of death. We then had a wild pine martin in that had been rescued from a garden for a clinical exam to check the health.

Examination of a wild pine martin in wildlife rehabilitation

After this I had my parasitology lecture, followed by a general surgery practical which we spent watching videos of different ways to restrain animals.

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