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Eleven Ibis migrate to Okinawa for the winter

Date Posted: 2007-11-20

The Ibis are back. Eleven of the migratory birds have flown home to a Yone area pond in Tomigusuku City after a summer away.
Officials say the eleven birds returned this week, an annual event.
An ibis limped back to Okinawa two years ago with a broken wing, and is still in protective custody. The bird was treated by the staff of the Manko Swamp Water Bird Center, as it could not fly. The Center, operated by the Ministry of the Environment, took the bird to a Naha City veterinarian for surgery, and the bird is doing well now, although it still cannot fly.
“We don’t think it is time to let him go with the other birds,” a veterinary spokesman says. “He still can’t fly and it’s too dangerous for the ibis to go back to nature. If we let him go, he will die.” The Manko officials say they’re going to send the ibis to Tokyo’s Tama Zoo Park, where he will join 33 other ibises.
The Tama Zoo Park wants to use the ibis for breeding, a difficult process in captivity. Once the bird has further recovered, veterinarians hope to release the wounded bird back into the wild. For now though, the vet says there’s still more rehabilitation needed.

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