UPDATE: Rare bird is ‘touch and go’ after beach rescue, says RSPCA

Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the East Sussex WRAS. SUS-160509-101603001
Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the East Sussex WRAS. SUS-160509-101603001

A rare red-footed booby bird that was found weak, thin and washed up on a St Leonards beach is in recovery at the RSPCA.

The unusual bird is normally a resident of sunnier climes but was rescued after he was found on West Marina beach by a member of the public, who alerted East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service on Sunday, September 4.

Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the East Sussex WRAS. SUS-160509-101603001

Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the East Sussex WRAS. SUS-160509-101603001

After a night in the WRAS’s care, the bird was transferred to RSPCA Mallydams this morning (Monday) for specialist treatment.

The bird - who is very underweight and dehydrated - is now in intensive care at the wildlife centre and staff are trying to stabilise him.

Simon Fathers, manager at RSPCA Mallydams wildlife centre, said: “This bird is very poorly. He is very weak, thin and dehydrated.

“He has been through a real ordeal. We are not sure how he ended up on a beach in Sussex - around 6,000 miles away from home - but we think he may have been blown way off course due to the hurricanes in Florida.

Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-160509-172950001

Red-footed booby. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA. SUS-160509-172950001

“He is very, very weak so it is really hard to know how he will fare at the moment but our staff are doing everything they can to help him recover.

“We could not believe it when we had the call from East Sussex WRAS explaining they had rescued a red-footed booby bird. These birds are normally from the other side of the Atlantic. We have never had one come in to us before - this is a real first.”

He added: “We and East Sussex WRAS have had a lot of people asking if they can come to see the bird. We understand why everyone is so excited to see him - we were too - but our wildlife wards are closed to the public and at the moment he is extremely ill and weak. We need to keep him as calm and quiet as possible to give him the best chance of survival.”

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

To help East Sussex WRAS please visit www.wildlifeambulance.org.

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