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Last sync:2023-05-17 04:45
Rook the Raven gets new roommates! Maav and Luka both sustained injuries that prevent them from being able to fly, so they found a safe home at Animal Wonders. Will the new rescues be friends with Rook?

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Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders.  I'm Jessi and this is Rook.  She's a common raven.  Common ravens can be found across most of the Northern hemisphere.  They look a lot like several other large black birds, including grackles and crows, but ravens are much larger than the other black birds, with a larger beak, long wing feathers, and the feathers around their neck almost look like a small mane.

Rook is not a pet.  She lives at Animal Wonders as an ambassador for her species and since she's here, that means she's already been deemed non-releasable by a veterinarian.  Rook was found in the wild unable to fly and was taken to a rehabilitation center.  After they tried to fix her broken wing without success, she needed to find a permanent home.  She came to Animal Wonders in 2014 and at first, I made a guess that Rook was a male, but later learned she was, in fact, a female.

The easiest way to tell a male from a female is their general size.  Rook weighs about 900 grams and she has less of a mane around her neck than an adult male would.  Males tend to be over 1000 grams and regularly display their larger mane.  At first, Rook was not a fan of humans and avoided all contact with me, but over a few months, I taught her how to catch and that is how I was able to get her to trust me.

She learned to expect good food whenever I came around and eventually she learned that she would be safe when perched on my hand.  Now, over five years later, Rook will willingly step onto my hand and let me cradle her under my arm to attach her jesses.  The reason I use anklets and jesses on her is because if she does get spooked, her instinct is to jump and fly, but because she can't fly and can't even open her left wing, she falls awkwardly and can hurt herself, so with the jesses and leash, I can catch her and help her back up onto my hand.

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Gaining her trust took years and during that time, I was always looking for a possible companion for Rook and it's finally happened!  This is Maav, and she's another female raven.  She's almost exactly the same size as Rook and she also has a wing injury.  She was most likely hit by a car, but we don't really know because no one saw it happen.  

Maav was brought into Wild Skies Raptor Center earlier this year because she was injured and unable to fly.  They bandaged her wing up and hoped she would heal, but the tip of her left wing was so badly damaged, it needed to be amputated.  We were asked if we could take her in, and if we could, then they would continue with her rehabilitation.  

Maav is an adult and we don't know her age.  She is quite weary of humans and shows us she doesn't like us being too close by hopping away and gaping.  Gaping is when she opens her beak a bit and it's a sign of stress, like you saw earlier with Rook.

Alright, Rook girl.  Come on out.  There you go.  Come back with your friend.  When we made the decision to take in Maav, it was with the understanding that she would most likely not be very friendly for a long time.  The other consideration was that her and Rook might not get along, and if that happened, we didn't have another enclosure to house them separately.  

We arranged with Wild Skies Raptor Center that we would give Maav a home, but if she didn't get along with Rook, they would take her back and try to find another placement for her.  Taking in a wild, adult raven is not high on most nature center's wishlists because they are challenging to care for.  They are quite intelligent and require daily enrichment so they don't get bored and develop unwanted behaviors, and they have already established that humans are dangerous and to avoid them in the wild, so taking in Maav was a big decision, but I'm really glad that we said yes.

Maav has only been with us a short time and can you guess the first thing I taught her?  I taught her to catch.  She had to watch Rook do it a few times before she even attempted it.  At first, she would literally duck out of the way to avoid her treat, but I'm happy that I can finally make her feel good while keeping my distance and hopefully, we'll become much better friends over the next few years.

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So I also have more news to share.  While Maav was at the rehabilitation center, another raven came in with a wing injury, but this time, it was a juvenile.  We were asked if we would be willing to take in both.  This was a huge decision.  There were pros and cons of any choice we made, and it wasn't easy.  I'd like to share how we weighed all of our options so you might get an idea of the whole picture.

The juvenile was a male and already larger than Maav, but since he was young, the chances he could become an excellent ambassador were much more optimistic than an adult.  We could have chosen to not take Maav and instead taken just the young male, but this didn't feel good to me.  We had already committed to Maav and she had undergone her rehabilitation on her broken wing.  I didn't want to abandon her just because someone new came along.  Alternatively, if we chose not to take in the young male, he might not find another placement and would face euthanasia. 

We also had to decide if our current enclosure could house three ravens.  Was it too small?  And finally, what if they didn't all get along?  Ultimately, we chose to give both Maav and the young male a chance to live at Animal Wonders with Rook.  If they didn't get along, we could always return them to our local rehabilitation center in the hopes they found a new home, but we were hoping for the best.  

We asked around and our animal consultants all agreed that the enclosure we had was big enough to house three non-flighted ravens, but the focus would need to be on plenty of branches for them to utilize and be able to hop around on without hurting themselves.

So this is Luka, the juvenile male raven.  He was first introduced to Rook at the same time as Maav, but after a few days, he was taken out.  He's currently living alone because he was causing a lot of stress on the females, just because he's young and uncoordinated and kind of pushy.  He's a typical kid.  I also think the females were already stressed out to begin with.  Rook was suddenly getting new roommates and Maav was moving in to a completely new place with different humans, so we removed Luka to give the girls some time to settle in and hopefully form a strong bond of friendship, and we took that time to jumpstart our relationship with Luka and see if we could start working on a trust bond.  

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Within two days, he was eating from our hand, as long as we didnt' look at him while we were handing him the food, and after two weeks, he would hop over and take it with confidence.  Luka has a severe wing injury in his right wing.  The break causes his wing to droop down and when his feathers are fully grown in, they get caught between his legs and he trips on them.

For now, we've trimmed the first few long feathers and it's helped, but in the future, we may choose to have the tip amputated to help him maneuver better without having his wing get in the way so much.  Alright, we're gonna go ahead and put Luka back.  Right now, Luka is still in training to stand comfortably on my hand, but hopefully soon, he'll be traveling to classrooms to teach about ravens, what makes them important, and why we should respect them and all wild animals.

Soon, Luka will be reintroduced to Rook and Maav and I'll give you an update on how they're doing.  It's unfortunate that Maav, Rook, and Luka can't be flying free in the wild, but I'm happy that we're able to provide them a safe home, and I'm glad that Rook now has raven friends to share her life with.  These three need a lot of enrichment and they eat a lot of food.  If you'd like to help us with the costs of their care, you can make a donation through PayPal, the link is in the description.  

Your donation will go directly to purchasing whole prey items and toys for them to play with.  If you'd like to continue going on adventures with us every week, make sure to subscribe and turn on that notification bell, and if you'd like to help us continue to make videos for everyone to learn from and enjoy, you can go to and join our community of Patrons by supporting us each month in return for special content and perks.  

Thank you all and I'll see you next week.


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