Laniakea came to us as an adult rook in Spring 2017. We did not know for sure how old she was when she arrived. However, it was very obvious to us that Laniakea was already an experienced and mature rook. When we rescued her, it became immediatly apparent that she would never be releasable. This thought was deeply troubling, in particular as it was very likely that Laniakea had a partner, who was waiting for her. Her arrival came with a big shock too, as she had suffered horrendous injuries to her leg, most likely caused by a spring trap. Laniakea had to undergo surgery, but recovered very well from her leg amputation.
Laniakea adapted to the new situation and settled in very well. We modified her outdoor aviary to take her disability in account by creating padded areas and suitable perches. Over the next months she became close friends with our senior resident rook Plato, who is very short sighted due to bilateral age related cataracts. It did not take long for this friendship to turn into love and both birds bonded.
It was deeply touching to watch how both birds took care of each other, and how they recognised and accepted each other’s disabilities. Laniakea became Plato’s eyes and Plato Laniakea’s feet. But the amazing story of Plato and Laniakea did not end here. Last year the pair adopted our disabled rook fledgling Lyra. With parental passion, patients and experience both birds helped Lyra, who had a very difficult start into her life, to literally find her feet.
It was completly unexpected, and without any signs of illness, that Laniakea passed away in her sleep. We are in shock and devastated to have lost a very close non-human friend, a partner to Plato and a foster mum to Lyra. Laniakea leaves a big gap in our lives. However, she will for always remain in our hearts. We will miss her amazing and gentle soul, and her unique way she communicated and interacted with us. Laniakea, we are very saddened, but also very grateful, that we had the privilege to get to know you. You have been very dear to our hearts and you will be sincerely missed! Rest in peace old friend!