Five black-faced spoonbills were released back into the wild at Tainan's Sicao Wildlife Refuge Friday after recovering from avian botulism, according to the Tainan City government.
The five sick migratory birds were initially found in Sicao or fish farms in the city between Dec. 13 and Dec. 19, the city government said in a statement.
The spoonbills, numbered and tagged as N17, N18, N19, N20, and N21, were diagnosed with avian botulism, a disease that can cause weakness, lethargy, and an inability to hold up the head or fly.
The rescued spoonbills were sent to the Loving Kindness Animal Hospital, where they were injected with antiserum and gradually recovered.
They were then sent to the Endemic Species Research Institute in Nantou County for field training before their release, the city government said.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (???), who took part in Friday's release, said that rescuing the spoonbills had been a cooperative effort, with three found by inspectors working for the city's Agriculture Bureau and two by the Tainan Wild Bird Federation.
According to Huang, 60 percent of the black-faced spoonbills in the world, the only type of the bird that is classed as endangered, spend winters in Taiwan, a result he attributed to conservation work.
Anyone who finds a black-faced spoonbill with a slightly opened mouth, soft neck, or drooping wings that is weak, unable to fly, or sit on the ground should contact the city's Agriculture Bureau (06-6321731) or send the bird to one of the Loving Kindness Animal Hospital's local branches, the mayor said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel