WATCH: A new patient at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is capturing hearts with his wild, goofy smile. Dougal is a young raven that was left behind by his family because he is blind and couldn’t fly. Without a chance of surviving in the wild, animal rescuers are now trying to give him the best shot at a long, happy life with them.
If you’ve never seen a raven smile, you are in for a treat when you look at Dougal.
“Oh that’s a baby. Look at that it doesn’t get any better,” said Robin Campbell of North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre while holding a wide-mouthed raven as he mimicked smiling.
Dougal, as he’s come to be named, isn’t shy about shows off his extraordinary smile and ebony features to the delight of everyone he meets.
Robin Campbell, the founder of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, has lately become better known as Dougal’s right-hand man. Dougal is often perched on Campbell’s shoulder.
“We are determined that he will have an excellent life here,” said Campbell.
“And he’s here due to the fact he’s blind.”
The blind fledgling was found below a raven’s nest in Qualicum Beach two months ago, abandoned. He was brought in to the North Island Recovery Centre where an examination showed he’d never make it in the wild on his own.
So staff here are becoming like the family he lost and are teaching him how to be a raven.
“He has this disability that is blindness but that’s his life, that’s all he’s known,” said North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre Animal Care Supervisor Tawney Molland.
They hope one day even they’ll teach him to fly.
“I think he would like that,” said Campbell. “That’s what I’m thinking he would like it and if he was guided on a straight line,” he said.
“I have all the faith that Robin will be able to do this,” said Molland. “Teach him to fly,” she said.