RIAS nurses its first Atlantic puffin back to health

RIAS has nursed over 10,000 animals back to health

Olhão wildlife rehabilitation centre RIAS has treated its first Atlantic puffin, a species of seabird in the auk family.

The bird was rescued in May after being found in Ilha Deserta a “very debilitated state”, with worn-out feathers and an oil stain on its belly.

After undergoing an examination and being given fluids, the Atlantic puffin was left to rest for the night, the centre explains on its website.

The same treatment continued for a few days until the bird was strong enough that the RIAS team decided to try to feed it fish.

“To our surprise, it had a great appetite and devoured everything we gave it,” the centre says.

Once it was “completely stabilised,” the Atlantic puffin was placed in a small outside pool, with access to a dry space, to help its plumage recover. At night it was brought inside the centre so that it wouldn’t be “exposed to lower temperatures.”

It was transferred shortly after to a larger outdoor area with a larger pool until finally being released in the same area it was found.

RIAS has already rescued and nursed over 10,000 wild animals back to health in the decades it has been serving the Algarve.

By Michael Bruxo

[email protected]

Portugal Resident