Last Saturday, during the evening exhibition, I spent really bad moments.
My daughter Anna left for the Barcelona Beach Festival, my son Lukas left for a 2 weeks’ vacation to the Suisse Alps and so we did the exhibition only Eloi and me. So far so good: It’s more stress for us – we have to run there and back with our birds and mammals so the experience for our visitors is nice and fluent; but the problem appeared when it was our raven’s Phineas turn.
Our visitors brought a really large beach parasol with them and when Phineas saw the colossus, he decided to fly away! Naturally I immediately asked our visitors to close the umbrella, but the damage was done. And how great Phineas flew: up and up, relying on the warm currents of the air. With every round he did, its silhouette was getting smaller on the blue sky. And I was desperate: he was already about 150 m above me and there was no sign that he would want to come back. “I will lose him! I should have spent more time with him, scratching his neck as he loves it, I should have shown him more that I really care for him, to bind him more to me, so he wouldn’t leave me:” passed through my head. “Oh God, he is leaving.”
But than our neighbour appeared out of nowhere: a wild Egyptian vulture that nests every year in the cliffs just behind our park. And he absolutely did not approve of Phineas’ skills. “What do you think, to fly just in front on my nest? We have a baby there, that is about to make its first flight! We don’t want you here!”
But our Phineas didn’t understand. Since he spent all his life under the protection of our human presence, he didn’t recognize the aggressive mood of the vulture parent who took a position over him as a warning. And that was it: the vulture started to make passes over Phineas and forced him to lower its flight. But even then, Phineas didn’t understand. And kept flying like asking: “Hey bud, what’s the matter? I’m just flying and flying and I enjoy it and maybe I will not go back to the zoo, for I enjoy it soooo much up here.”
Finally, the vulture got really angry and started to attack Phineas for real. So our visitors had the privilege to observe these dramatic moments, and Phineas understood then: “I’m not welcome here, it’s dangerous!!! Quickly back to Stania!!! She will protect me.” And in a matter of seconds Phineas laded in his magnificent style on my glove, dazzling our visitors with his shining-black feathers and the visitors could feed him from their hand, as we do every day during the exhibitions.
Fortunately, Phineas didn’t get any injuries from his adventurous excursion, and we hope he learned his lesson – for ravens are so clever animals! And we learned our lesson as well: no large beach parasols on the amphitheatre when Phineas flies.
If you want to learn more about ravens, please click here