Boo Boo the Turkmenian Eagle owl’s story has gone viral online, throughout the national press. and on BBC & ITV television – read all about her inspiring story here.
Boo Boo is a Turkmenian Eagle owl who was born at Hendra Farm, Looe, Cornwall on the 28th May 2017. We first noticed a problem with her legs when she was about five weeks old, and after extensive tests, the vet diagnosed a rare growth disorder which has caused her legs to twist so badly that she is unable to stand up – without long term therapy she has no future. Because it is such a rare condition in owls the treatment she is receiving is very much trial and error as there are no documented cases. The vet decided to splint her legs with thick bandaging, which have to be removed and replaced regularly. There have been times when the splints have had adverse effects on the legs, so we need to keep a very close eye, and whisk her back to the vet if necessary.
Boo Boo the baby eagle owl is an amazing bird – she has coped so well and takes everything in her stride. She has taught herself to walk on her heavily bandaged legs by supporting herself with her wings. 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 is fed by hand, with her food being chopped into small pieces, as she is unable to grip it in her talons and do it herself. She’s quite happy with this arrangement, although you do have to watch your fingers if she’s very hungry! We had a problem with her getting very agitated when we left her on her own, so we got her a radio and a few soft toys to see if they made a difference, and the result was amazing! Now her best friend is a large teddy bear that she snuggles up to, especially when things don’t quite go to plan with her splints and she’s a bit down. The other toys get dragged around the pen and pounced on (and pooped on!). She’s also an avid listener of Radio 2!
November 2017 Update
Boo has been suffering with a particularly nasty pressure sore, which has been causing us, and the vet, serious concern. Thankfully it does now seem to be healing, although it has meant some rather innovative and unconventional bandaging. Boo has had the good sense to refrain from her usual avid bouncing around her pen, which has helped considerably – clever girl! Sadly her feathers are looking rather battered now, as she isn’t really designed to be a floor dweller, though they will be replaced when she moults so it’s only affecting her aesthetically.
We really do need some help now, as we need to find another way of supporting her legs that isn’t going to cause pressure sores – DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP? We want to stay well away from any surgical intervention as it’s too risky.
December 2017 Update
We are so sad to have to announce that we lost our beloved Boo Boo on Tuesday 12th December, very suddenly and unexpectedly. Everyone here is utterly heartbroken as she was part of our family and such a character. We take comfort that we did everything possible for her, and although far too short, her life was filled with love, laughter and joy.
We will leave this page here in memory of our brave and beautiful Boo Boo.