Not long ago, we introduced you to Memphis, an injured juvenile macaw we’d taken in, hoping to help him heal, with the intention that he’d eventually be released back into the wild.
After we discovered via x-ray that Memphis had a broken leg and wing, he went to the big city to have an orthopedist and exotic specialist perform surgery. After a month, when he returned for follow-up x-rays and pin removal, we sadly learned that his wing did not heal properly and he would never be able to fly again.
Memphis would need yet another surgery to remedy the situation with his wing, but in the meanwhile, he would have to return back to the sanctuary for the holidays while all of the vets involved decided on the next steps. We searched for a lifelong home where he would have space and the companionship of others of his kind. As wildlife rehabilitators, it is important to maintain a healthy distance from animals you believe will eventually return to the wild. Once we knew that Memphis could not be safely released, we were able to be a bit more interactive and affectionate with him – and he stole our hearts.
Recently, Memphis went in for his follow-up surgery. Mateus, who is a vet himself, accompanied Memphis to the orthopedist. Sadly, while under anesthesia, Memphis stopped breathing and passed away. Our hearts are broken because Memphis quickly became a sweet and naughty presence here at the sanctuary. He was young and cooperative, loved human help with scratching his itches, but also a chatty housemate who talked often to the other macaws around.
In our profession, you know you will face loss and heartbreak; each animal finds their own way into your heart. Memphis made a huge impression on everyone during his time here. It seems too quiet all of a sudden. But, you grieve, move forward, and take the lessons you learned from that loss with you for the next time.
Memphis has been privately cremated and we will release his ashes at the back of the sanctuary property. We have put together a few moments that show off his salty, yet charming, personality. We miss him already. We wish we’d all had more time together.