Attack on friendly B.C. crow prompts cruelty probe

Bird may have been hit with a stick

VANCOUVER — The east Vancouver crow that is celebrated for his gregarious antics will remain in a bird hospital for at least another week after his caretaker says the bird was attacked.

Shawn Bergman says Canuck the crow must remain under care for treatment of head and other injuries following an incident over the weekend where the bird may have been hit with a stick while hopping along the sidelines of a local soccer game.

BC Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator Eileen Drever says she began an investigation after receiving reports that the bird was knocked unconscious, however no one who witnessed the attack has come forward.

Bergman befriended Canuck more than a year ago and the playful antics of the curious creature led to a Facebook page with thousands of followers and a dedicated social media presence.

It was the bird’s theft of the possible weapon from a Vancouver crime scene that elevated Canuck’s status.

Canuck is known to patrol an area of east Vancouver and was watching in May 2016 as police investigated a stabbing, before swooping down and trying to fly off with a knife, dropping it only after officers gave chase.

The bird was hopping around, drinking and eating a little on Monday, but Bergman says it would be several days before Canuck could fly free.

“They want to make sure he’s 100 per cent and ready to go back outside. They just want to make sure that he’s as healthy as he can be.”

Canuck spends a lot of time with humans, but is not a pet and must feed and fend for himself, avoiding predators and competing with other crows, so Bergman says the animal must be in top shape when released.

In the meantime, Bergman says other crows are moving in to Canuck’s territory.

“They’re all taking advantage of the lack of his presence in the neighbourhood, right now,” he says. ”It’s interesting to watch the dynamic working there.”

The Canadian Press

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