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Man has emotional reunion with wild black-faced spoonbill he saved
This is the sweetest story about a man and a bird I've ever seen. They have such a special bond it's no wonder it was hard to let him go.
Rebecca Reid
09.06.21

Friends can come in all shapes, sizes, and species.

When a young Black-faced Spoonbill was severely injured during a rainstorm, a very kind man decided to nurse him back to health.

These birds are, sadly, endangered so it is even more special that this man took the time to help the little guy out.

The two became inseparable and formed a strong bond during the bird’s recovery. He even gave him a name, Doongee.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

“Someone reported him…he floated down the monsoon…then I found him completely worn out.”

Doongee was in critical condition when he was found, exhausted and clinging to life.

The bird’s health took a turn for the better after the man devoted most of his time to becoming Doongee’s surrogate mother. Soon, Doongee was doing so well that it was time for a change of scenery.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

“He used to be as tiny as my fist, now that he’s grown much bigger than when he was discovered, I think I need to train him in a larger space.”

The man started to create an environment outside for Doongee to hunt live prey. He hoped this would help the bird learn to hunt.

This would hopefully help Doongee return to the wild.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

“Look here Doongee here”

When Doongee first discovered the outdoor pond complete with fish, he was still a little hesitant. The man-made a point to move his hand from side to side in the water, teaching the bird to do the same.

Eventually, the bird gets the hang of it and is hunting on his own. This makes his papa proud.

Next up for Doongee – Flying 101

When Doongee was first rescued, he couldn’t fly but that was about to change.

The man made an effort to coax the bird off the roof and even threw him into the air to get him to use his wings. Eventually, hard work paid off and Doongee was flying as if he had never been injured.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

A trip to see some Spoonbills in their natural habitat doesn’t seem to tempt Doongee.

The bird seems to be curious when he sees his fellow Spoonbills but he ultimately decides that beside his mother (the old man) is where he wants to be.

The man tells him, “Look, your family is over there.”

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

I thought he would join the group, but he’s too familiar with humans as he was raised by them…so he needs to be separated from the man first” – The Korean Bird Research Center

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

Time for Doongee to fly from the nest.

It was time for Doongee to live at a rescue center with other Black-faced Spoonbills so he could get used to less human contact, which would speed up his return to the wild.

At first, it was difficult for Doongee as he was being pushed away from the food by the other birds.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

If he can’t overcome this hurdle…he won’t be able to go back to nature again.” – YouTube – Kritter Klub

Doongee does get the hang of it and stands his ground in order to hunt for food. A few days later, the man comes to visit him to see how things are going.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was so concerned whether he adjusted to new surroundings or not.”

With the staff’s permission, the man enters the enclosure and spots his little friend. He calls out to him and the bird turns toward him when he hears the familiar voice. He immediately recognizes the old man and walks over to him chirping happily.

YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Kritter Klub

He laughs and says, “I’m about to cry…Doongee you have to do everything on your own from now on.”

The video is bittersweet. The bond between the bird and his surrogate ‘mother’ is so strong, however, they both know it is time for them to go their separate ways.

Now watch this heartwarming video about Doongee’s rescue below!

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By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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