rare' bird dies after being attacked by cat in Burnham
'incredibly rare' bird has died after migrating 3,000 miles from
Africa to Burnham-On-Sea only to be mauled by a pet cat.
starving Wryneck was foraging for ants to eat in a garden when
the cat pounced.
was rushed to an animal rescue centre by the cat's owner and shocked
staff worked around the clock to nurse it back to health.
despite their best efforts - which included travelling miles to
dig up ant nests - the rare summer visitor from sub-Saharan Africa
succumbed to its injuries five days later.
O'Keefe, from Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill,
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "He had a few puncture wounds and
was assessed by a vet."
was broken but he didn't seem to want to fly and never really
tried to put him outside in an aviary and see if he would move
around a bit, but he didn't."
brought him back inside into an incubator, but unfortunately the
next day he died. It's a real shame, but we tried our best. It's
really sad because they are so rare on these shores."
bird was brought to the rescue centre at East Huntspill after
the cat's owner found it in Burnham-On-Sea last Thursday.
only 280 pairs migrating across the South West to Europe every
year staff were reluctant to keep the bird too long.
quickly gathered ants for it to feed on, and although it ate,
when they put it into the outdoor aviary it remained on the ground,
unable to fly. Staff later took it into an incubator where it
sadly died on Tuesday.
added: "I have worked here for 20 years and I have never
seen one of these birds in the whole time, they are very rare.
are birds that migrate that come down on to the ground to forage
on ants, that is how the cat came to have it."
are incredibly difficult to see, they do a really impressive snake-like
movement of their head to make predators think they're dangerous,
I don't think it fooled the cat though."
Wryneck is a regular autumn migrant in small numbers to sites
in eastern and southern Britain.
few are seen each spring and it is occasionally spotted in gardens
during August and September. They get their English name from
their ability to turn their heads almost 180 degrees.
disturbed at their nest, they use their snake-like head twisting
and hissing as a threat display.