We may think we are aware of discriminatory behaviors against humans born with disabilities, but do we ever consider how other animals might judge the disabled? Benny, a very special little rosy-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) born with a condition called spraddle leg, is an inspiration for overcoming challenges with the aid of family and friends.
Spraddle leg, also referred to as “splay leg,” gave Benny the appearance of performing a phenomenal split. Unfortunately, his avian father wasn’t so impressed and refused to feed this little gymnastic outcast. The condition could be caused from congenital defects, though it could also be due to environmental factors such as arrangement of the egg, positioning of the nesting substrate, or too much weight pressure from being squished by mom in the nest.
It is normal and natural for avian parents to reject offspring perceived as inferior to their species due to physical abnormalities. So, yes, humans aren’t the only creatures that exhibit inequitable behaviors.
During the first few weeks of his life, Benny’s parents refused to care for him, and thus, he relied off of the caring, sharing nature of his three physically normal older brothers and sisters for nourishment. Imagine that!
Benny’s human family intervened and took him for a visit to a veterinarian, where he was fitted for a splint to fit around his tiny legs for sixteen days. After seven days, the splint was replaced with a makeup sponge and at five weeks old, Benny’s father finally accepted him into the family through orally offering his son regurgitated partially digested nutritional content.
Though Benny’s growth progressed much slower than his siblings, he is now a happy and healthy lovebird that can walk, squawk, and fly! View this incredible story of survival and determination by clicking on the video above.
Image source: 1Berkhout /YouTube