An adorable baby owl with a serious growth disorder has been given leg SPLINTS to help her walk.
Boo Boo, a three month-old Turkmenian Eagle owl, will never be able to fly because her limbs are not strong enough to land on.
But her owners at a rescue sanctuary are now doing whatever they can to help her get on her feet.
They have fitted her with splints and heavy bandages in an attempt to straighten her legs as much as possible.
And although her legs will never develop properly Boo Boo can waddle around her specially designed enclosure by balancing herself with her wings.
Senara Collings, 51, who runs Hendra Farm and Talons Owl Centre nr Looe, Cornwall, first noticed a problem with Boo Boo’s legs when she was about five weeks old.
She took her to a vet and tests found she has a serious disorder which has caused her legs to twist so badly that she is unable to stand up.
Senara said: “Boo Boo steals the heart of everyone who meets her but without treatment she has no future.
“It affects about one per cent of birds like her, so is quite rare.
“Our vet has consulted with specialists and one option is surgery, although this carries massive risks and will be the last resort.
“The initial course of treatment is to splint the legs, along with administering a dietary supplement to encourage correct bone growth.
“As she is so young and growing rapidly, it is hoped that we can encourage the legs into a more correct position with this approach.
“We are just trying to get her to take a bit of weight and pressure off her feet.
“She would not be able to fly as her legs aren’t strong enough to land and not having any talons makes her vulnerable.”
Boo Boo has already undergone extensive veterinary treatment which will continue for some time yet as she has to have the splints removed and replaced at least twice a week.
Her owners are now crowdfunding to try and raise £1,500 towards the cost of her vet bills.
Senara added: “We are hoping we can avoid the need for surgery as the cost for that alone will be £2000.
“Boo Boo is an amazing bird.
“She has coped so well with all the treatment, never biting or scratching, and is teaching herself to walk on her heavily bandaged legs, by supporting herself with her wings.”
Her special enclosure will be designed and modified around her to keep her safe.
Senara added: “We have provided her with a deep straw bedded pen so she can move about safely with no danger of hurting herself if she loses balance.
“She has to be carried when she goes to the vet as she is unable to balance herself in a carrier box – her reaction to this is to snuggle in and fall asleep.”
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