A resort wildlife rescuer was shocked to discover an unwell pigeon unable to fly had been branded with the word “love” on its body in pink nail varnish.
The pigeon, which was found in a road in Layton and affectionately named “Jazz” after being taken in by Brambles Wildlife Rescue in South Shore, also had its claws painted pink.
Mel Greenhalgh, who runs Brambles, is now caring for the afflicted bird and giving him treatment for coccidiosis, a disease of the intestinal tract in animals.
Mel said: “He was found by a couple in Layton lying in the middle of the road on his back, unable to fly. They said he was in a collapsed state, and quite lethargic.
“He had the word “love” painted on his front in pink nail varnish and his claws were painted pink as well.
“I’ve never come across a bird vandalised in this way before, at first I couldn’t believe my eyes – I thought, has he actually got painted nails?
“I’ve had to give him a little trim to get all of the nail varnish out of his feathers.”
Mel takes in as many injured, orphaned or unwell birds as possible at Brambles, but recently appealed for more people to volunteer to help raise orphaned baby birds.
The birds claws had also been painted pink. Picture: Brambles Wildlife Rescue
Throughout the coming summer months, dozens of chicks are expected to need hand-rearing – and the rescue centre is happy to help volunteers, but lacks the resources to take on each case.
Fortunately, Jazz the pigeon is now in Mel’s safe hands and will be cared for at Brambles until he is able to fly again.
“I just don’t understand why anyone would do this, especially as he was probably already unwell and unable to fly,” she continued.
“Love” had been painted on the pigeon’s breast feathers in pink nail varnish. Picture: Brambles Wildlife Rescue
“Luckily he was quite perky this morning, so I’m hoping he’ll make a full recovery and will be able to fly again soon.”