Man’s kookaburra CPR may not be what it seems

January 18, 2017 3:17pm
Majid Shahen performs mouth-to-beak resuscitation on the kookaburra.
Majid Shahen performs mouth-to-beak resuscitation on the kookaburra.

A MAN who performed CPR on a kookaburra and appears to have saved its life, as shown in a popular online video, may not have done what it seems.

Majid Shahen’s brave efforts in his East Ryde yard have gone viral online, and were shown on TV, after his son Nazer recorded the encounter.

Mr Shahen was at home when he noticed the bird fly into a glass wall in the yard and drop into the pool.

The bird was not moving, so Mr Shahen lifted him out of the water.

He then tried several methods to prompt the bird back to its normal state, including gently pressing its chest, blowing into its beak, and used an air pump.

“I saw the kookaburra lying in the pool, and his face in the water,” Mr Shahen said. “So I tried to do CPR on him and save his life.”

While the bird appeared to come back to life after Mr Shahen used the pump to direct oxygen into its airway, not everyone was convinced.

Dr Derek Spielman, a senior lecturer in veterinary science at Sydney University, believed the kookaburra had only been unconscious.

“I think it was probably concussed, and may not have inhaled any water,” he said.

“If the bird had water in its lungs, it would not have recovered that well.”

Dr Spielman, who worked as a zoo veterinarian for 20 years, runs a wildlife clinic at St Ives.

He occasionally receives birds who have flown into windows, and said they can recover in minutes or hours.

“In breeding season, they see their own reflection in the window and think it’s a foreign kookaburra in their territory and they’ll attack it,” he said.

He asked the public not to try resuscitating birds, for both parties’ safety, and to take them to a vet.

Ha ha, this is actually great. I don’t think it was the CPR that did the trick but it still emphasises that it is important to know how to do CPR. Make sure you book in to a CPR course with us at Canberra First Aid we will teach you all of the skills to save a kookaburras life. 

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