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The dabchick is nationally vulnerable, with only 1700 or so left. These small endemic grebes are small, weighing 250 grams. They live in fresh water and feed on aquatic insects, vegetation and small fish.
This dabchick was was found struggling in the ocean and was brought into Wildbase Hospital. He was lethargic and skinny, weighing only 160 grams.
We weren’t sure what was wrong, so he had the full work up including blood work and x-rays. The results showed capture myopathy, starvation and a total loss of waterproofing. He was nourished and rested for several days before he was given opportunities to bathe and preen to help restore his waterproofing and regaining his fitness.
Once his energy was restored and he was deemed fit enough for release we washed him to remove any contaminant that was preventing waterproofing as he still hadn’t achieved this by himself. The following day his waterproofing was tested and later that day he was released into a fresh water area known to have a local population of dabchicks.
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Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016