In Greek mythology, Zeus is the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods and is known for hurling his thunderbolt when angered. At the Exotic Bird Hospital, Zeus is a Blue and Gold Macaw, and instead of hurling thunderbolts, he drops his food on the floor, visibly delighted to watch us clean up his messes.
When visiting the clinic, most clients invariably gravitate to the large cage situated to the right of the door which is home to the impressive, colorful parrot named Zeus.
Often perched atop his cage, Zeus is always excited to greet his many visitors. In fact, Zeus will even lean forward, eager to have the feathers on top of his head stroked. Charmed by the gentle and affectionate nature of the amiable Blue and Gold Macaw, some people even fail to notice that Zeus only has one leg.
We first met Zeus on February 4, 2016 when he was brought in as an emergency, and his situation was quite dire. Housed in a cage outdoors, Zeus was the victim of a raccoon attack, and his injuries were extensive.
The doctors and staff at the clinic worked tirelessly to care for Zeus in his time of need. The field of veterinary medicine requires many skills including the ability to quickly and accurately anticipate problems and assess the best course of treatment. The severity of his injuries, including the loss of his leg during the attack, left Zeus very vulnerable to infection. The wound was so large that his right pubic bone was visible and above where his leg should have been, bone and muscle were left exposed. Zeus also suffered bruises, scratches, and abrasions on his back and chest. Bites from animals are notoriously tricky due to the bacteria that is transmitted, so doctors had to be vigilant while monitoring Zeus. The wounds had to be kept clean, and Zeus was given injections and oral medications to assist his body in the long, painful process of healing.
Throughout the lengthy ordeal that was his treatment, Zeus was always good-natured. He allowed us to wrap him in a towel several times a day, examine him, and give him medicine that we sneakily mixed with his hand feeding formula to mask the bitter taste.
Zeus never bit, even when he was in excruciating pain. It seemed as if he never complained, as if he communicated with his quiet gaze that he understood that we had his best interests at heart.
By the time his owners said they could not provide an adequate home for him, Zeus had captured the hearts of the doctors and staff. He was improving every day, and his indomitable spirit was an inspiration to us all. Soon, Zeus was eating on his own and getting around his cage incredibly well on one leg.
These days, Zeus is content to live at the clinic where he is showered with treats and attention as he sits atop his cage, crunching his pellets while anticipating his next visitor. Zeus was incredibly lucky, but sadly, what happened to him was not an isolated incident. The clinic has seen several cases of raccoon attacks in this year alone.
In the wild, birds are prey animals, and their main defense is the ability to fly. When we place our birds in cages outdoors, we remove their greatest defense, leaving them vulnerable to predators that see them as easy targets. As our pets, birds rely on us to keep them safe, so it is best to keep them indoors.
We know that mistakes like these are often the result of a lack of information, so the staff at the Exotic Bird Hospital is always here to answer any questions. Call or stop by, and if you do come to the clinic, say hi to Zeus!