Woman Gets A Big Surprise From The Wild Bird She Nursed To Health

Australia’s Gold Coast is jam-packed with wildlife. Locals don’t bat an eyelash at exotic animals hanging out in their yards. Spotting a kangaroo, dingo, or tropical bird isn’t that big of a deal. Unless that creature heads straight for you.

A woman in Queensland enjoyed the brightly colored birds who frequented her home balcony. She’d feed them without fear and enjoy their company while reading, but after the day one unusual bird flapped his way toward her, neither of their lives were ever the same.

Bee was sitting on her deck, nestled in a canopy of trees, when a brightly colored lorikeet flew straight towards her. She was used to tropical birds hanging out on her balcony, but this bird was seeking human contact — a troubling sign.

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The animal was distressed, panting, and puffing his feathers. He climbed right onto Bee, who stroked his head despite her own surprise. This soothing worked; the bird quickly curled up on her shoulder and went to sleep.

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Two hours later, the lorikeet stirred. Bee had never experienced this sort of behavior from a wild bird, and given that her house is nestled in the treetops of the Australian tropics, she saw way more exotic fowl than the average person.

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Assessing his condition, Bee was concerned that the bird was injured. He allowed her to touch him and gingerly examine his wing. Nothing seemed to be broken, but something had badly frazzled this little guy.

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After he woke up, the colorful bird didn’t fly away. Bee guessed his sense of ease around people was probably due to his weakened state. The bird still showed signs that he was still not fully recovered, though he did start to make himself comfortable.

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While she was getting some food together inside, the curious lorikeet perked up out on the deck. He hopped his way straight into the kitchen like he owned the joint. That’s when Bee knew this bird was truly something special.

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The bird waddled his way around the interior of the home, checking everything out. He pretty much spent the day with Bee in her house recouping. Those precious hours had a deep impact on both of them.

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From that day forward, the lorikeet was part of the family. He just wouldn’t leave! Bee loved having the bird around the house and each day they learned more about each other’s personalities.

YouTube / The Dodo

Not long into their friendship, Bee noticed her new pal had a habit of bobbing his head with enthusiasm. His little dance and spunkiness inspired a nickname fit for a funky little king — Elvis.

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When Elvis flew onto Bee’s balcony, it was like he had found where he was always meant to be. He was instantly comfortable with the human and her space, so much so that Bee grew concerned about his lack of socialization.

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So Bee tried to integrate Elvis with some of the other birds who frequent her balcony. Thankfully there were all sorts of exotic feathered creatures who perch on her railings every day. She hoped Elvis would befriend somebody while dipping in the birdbath. 

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Several mingling dates later, Elvis flew off with the rest of the birds, though not for too long. He always returns home to his chosen mama Bee. In the mornings, Elvis waits patiently for her on the other side of the sliding glass door.

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Each day, Bee welcomes Elvis home like a teenager returning home from a sleepover. He joins her in many of her activities: tapping his beak on the iPad while she works on her computer and demanding to get in on the action when she does her makeup.

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That’s right, Elvis doesn’t shy away from a bit of a bold look. He is a brightly plumed tropical lorikeet, after all! Bee lets her bird-son peck away at her eyeshadow pallets without concern. If something makes Elvis happy, it’s worth it.

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If you’re skeptical about whether a wild lorikeet like Elvis could actually enjoy being handled by humans, all you need to do is listen to the bird sing to his heart’s content. He is quite the Chatty Cathy, always whistling and tweeting his lungs out in conversation.

For The Love of Birds

Of all the spots in the house, Elvis prefers the dish rack. Naturally, the metal bars resemble a birdcage, which he just can’t help but climb. He’s free to come and go as he pleases, and he’s treated Bee’s house like his own from the start.

YouTube / The Dodo

Once he’s had his fill of home comforts, Elvis rejoins his buddies. Bee’s house is the definition of an open door policy. He comes and goes, enjoying the benefits of living wild and free with a human to scratch his head when he wants.

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Watching Elvis fit in with the other birds made Bee feel so proud of his progress. One day, she spotted him cozying up to a female lorikeet. Not too much later, Elvis brought her home for mom’s stamp of approval.

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For the past three years, Elvis has been a fixture in Bee’s life. He’s like her outdoor cat with wings, free on his account, but too much of a mama’s boy to leave the nest for good.

YouTube/ The Dodo

It’s hard to deny that Bee and Elvis’ meeting was fate. He needed help, and she was there to give it — and to inspire other animal lovers. Not too far away, another little bird was in a tough spot and thankfully the right people spotted him.

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Like Bee, the Australian couple realized something strange was happening when they noticed the penguin was struggling in the water. Based on its petite size, they thought it might be a baby that had gotten lost — it wasn’t.

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It was actually a species known as “fairy” penguins due to its adorably small size. They’re found along the coasts of southern Australia, but the couple still found it odd that there was one lonesome, jittery penguin in the estuary.

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And just when the couple thought the situation reached its peak weirdness, they witnessed the little penguin get chased out of the water by some predator and then chased back in by a dog. The poor creature was really having a rough day.

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Worried about the frightened fairy penguin, who wound up hiding under the Southport pier, they whipped out their phones and Googled “lost penguin,” hoping to find an article regarding a missing penguin nearby.

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And, well, it looked like a certain marine park was missing a little tuxedo bird. Australia’s Sea World on the Gold Coast had been searching for one of their little penguins, named Dirk. The missing Dirk was one of the park’s 29 little penguins.

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“They heard a scuffle in the water, and this penguin came out onto the sand,” said Trevor Long, Sea World’s director of marine sciences. The couple was simply in the right place at the right time.

You may be wondering how a popular oceanarium and theme park actually lost one of its precious animals, but the reasoning behind Dirk’s mishap is more sinister than one would think. Dirk was just minding his business with his little penguin buds before being rudely interrupted.

Sea World

Though you’d assume Dirk must’ve escaped after some careless mistake made by a keeper, the penguin was actually kidnapped from the little vivarium he called home. Who would do such a thing?

Sea World

Three men — aged at 18, 20 and 21 — broke into Sea World one night in April of 2012, took a dip in the dolphin exhibit, and then snatched seven-year-old Dirk before booking it out of there.

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Clearly Sea World needed better security. Sea World’s spokeswoman Renee Soutar relayed that this jarring animal theft was the first in the history of the park, which opened in 1971.

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And these three troublemakers would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for the meddling kids (AKA one member of the public) who discovered the trio’s gloating Facebook posts, which conveniently detailed all of their aquatic crimes.

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The men were charged with trespassing, stealing, and unlawfully keeping a protected animal. Allegedly they even confessed to the police that they set Dirk free in the Broadwater, which is known for being shark-infested.

So yes, the predator that chased Dirk out of the water was almost definitely a shark (cue the Jaws instrumentals). Considering Dirk was part of a breeding colony and had never experienced life in the wild, the whole ordeal terrified him.

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“Had we not got him it wouldn’t have been a good situation at all in the long term for Dirk,” Trevor explained. From there, they had to get Dirk back to his lover ASAP.

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“These penguins do mate for life and that’s why it was so important to get this bird back,” Trevor said. Dirk’s mate, Peaches, was patiently waiting for him at home, though she must’ve been worried sick!

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Considering that penguin species residing in the wild are constantly at risk of being eaten alive by predators, such as leopard seals, fur seals, sharks, and whales, they don’t make it back home to the nest all too often. This was almost the case for Dirk.

“He was extremely dishevelled, he was quite exhausted last night after we did catch him but … he’s settled down well,” Trevor relayed of Dirk’s welfare after the incident. Poor Dirk was put through the ringer.

Sea World

After Sea World rescued their missing child, Dirk then spent the night being closely watched by the park’s veterinarians. After he suffered a kidnapping and was almost eaten alive, Dirk had truly been to hell and back. At least he was finally safe and sound, as well as reunited with his dear Peaches.

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Though Dirk’s wild story had a happy ending, not all animal escapes end so blissfully, as England’s Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens employees faced a gut-wrenching decision when one of its predatory mammals made a swift getaway.

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

Founded in 1970, the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Bradwell Grove, England, served to give people with a passion for all things nature a place to commune. Over the past 47 years, it accrued one of the largest collections of zoo animals.

Ember and Ash, both Eurasian wolves born in Sweden, arrived at the wildlife park in October of 2016. The staff had brought the two wolves in to become part of the zoo’s community and to hopefully start a program to breed more.

The two wolves lived at the wildlife park happily for several months. Then, one day in July of 2017, visitors to the Cotswold Wildlife Park were warned to stay indoors, as Ember had managed to escape from her enclosure. How the zookeepers reacted, however, has people absolutely furious…

Such Eurasian wolves, who also go by Canis lupus lupus, typically come from Scandinavian countries. They are a massive draw to zoos like the Cotswold Wildlife Park, because people rarely have a chance to see them up close and in a controlled environment.

So, it was an incredible success for Cotswold when they brought Ember and Ash to the park. They had high hopes that the young wolves would breed early on, and that they would be able to continue to grow their pack.

The staff at Cotswold Wildlife Park knew that they’d have to be patient, but much to their great pleasure, Ash and Ember quickly forged a strong bond. Just a couple months after arriving, Ember birthed five wolf pups, who were the first to be born at the park. Still, trouble lurked on the horizon.

Like all wolves, these five cubs were absolutely dependent on Ember, as they were born both deaf and blind. It took them nearly two weeks just to open their eyes for the first time. Though they eventually weaned off of her milk, the pups still needed their mom to care for them and to teach them to eat.

Then, when the cubs were just 10 weeks old, Ember managed to sneak out of her enclosure. An alert was immediately issued to all staff and visitors. The staff hoped to have her back in her proper section of the park shortly… but could they guarantee they’d find her without something awful happening? She was a wild animal, after all!

The park immediately looked into how Ember could’ve managed to escape. No doors were left open or unlocked. Moments later, they realized there’d been an issue with the electric fence surrounding her enclosure: the voltage reader and the energizer weren’t working properly.

The zookeepers were also sure to alert the visitors that, even though they’d been asked to stay indoors, they were never in any real danger. In fact, Ember had never made it into any areas frequented by the public. Thankfully, not long after, they found the mother wolf near a highway!

The zookeepers immediately began trying to tranquilize the mother wolf. Ember, however, managed to elude them. In that moment, staff members from the wildlife park had to make an incredibly hard decision.

Since wolves are typically regarded as incredibly dangerous, the zookeepers had no choice but to shoot Ember. The zoo said in a press release: “Under the Zoo Licensing Act, if a category one animal escapes, you have no option but to euthanize. A decision which, as you can imagine, was devastating.”

Still, the zookeepers have received major backlash after making the necessary decision to shoot and kill Ember. Dr. Daniel Allen, an animal geographer, took to Twitter: “Appears to be another example of a British zoo which doesn’t value the lives of those in their care,” he said.

A member of the wildlife community and filmmaker Anneka Svenska also spoke out in opposition of the zookeepers’ choice to kill the mother wolf. “Ember was a mum to pups, and you shot her instead of tranquilizing her?” she questioned.

The Cotswold Wildlife Park since released a couple statements, in which they made an attempt to defend their difficult decision. They claimed that fearing for the visitor’s safety after trying to unsuccessfully tranquilize Ember gave them reason to euthanize her.

Since Ember’s tragic end, many animal activists have reached out, asking for an update on the cubs and Ash. “All five cubs are doing well. Eating well and growing well. Thank you for your concern,” a spokesperson from the Cotswold Wildlife Park said to reporters in an interview.

The wildlife park has since shifted its focus to the lives of Ash and the five wolf cubs. They’re now approaching their care for these animals with a hands-off style, in accordance with the European Captive Breeding Program’s rules.

Still, despite the fact that the cubs lost their mother in such a tragic manner, the zookeepers looked forward to developing the cubs at the park. They claim that they’d already weaned the cubs off of Ember, and Ash still had a good relationship with them. Mostly, they’ve learned to fend for themselves.

Now, the issue at the wildlife park has been either fixed or replaced with new versions of the same equipment. The zoo hopes it can ensure that another wolf escape will not happen in the future, at any given point in time.

The public is hoping that, while under the care of the zoo, the five cubs will be taken care of in a professional and safe manner. Let’s just hope that they can get along after losing their mother the way they did!

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