My blogger buddy Birdchick has been reporting on an Inca Dove that somehow made its way to Minnesota, and as you might expect some of her faithful readers have rhetorically asked whether this newest bird with “navigational issues” might likewise end up in a zoo “for its own good.” It so happens that I asked both of the Brookfield Zoo officials I spoke with yesterday whether the zoo was prepared to follow the mango precedent by providing a permanent home for every “navigationally challenged” bird that members of the public brought to them, and both replied that the zoo’s policy was to refer such cases to wildlife rehabilitators.
Of course, hummingbirds are not your average rehab subject, and the mango’s life was at much greater risk under the care of the Wisconsin Humane Society than at the Brookfield Zoo. (What a PR disaster THAT would have been.) So Brookfield was at least a reasonably safe halfway house for the mango, with adequate facilities, knowledge, and skill to provide competent care, but there’s still the issue of why permanent captivity was considered the best option. More on that later. In the meantime, I’m still waiting to hear from Dr. Strahl.