Joanie is a Wattled Curassow, which is an endangered species native to the Amazon basin.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The National Aviary jumped into action when one of their birds, an endangered species, became ill recently and was found to be in kidney failure.

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When Joanie, the Wattled Curassow, became lethargic and started skipping her meals, Aviary keepers removed her from the Wetlands exhibit for a series of tests and diagnostics.

They found that Joanie was in kidney failure and had an intestinal condition.

(Photo Courtesy: National Aviary)

Joanie has been at the National Aviary for over 20 years, and keepers say both conditions are common in aging birds.

The National Aviary’s Senior Director of Zoological Advancement and Avian Medicine Dr. Pilar Fish said, “We were guarded about Joanie’s prognosis, but we felt that with high-level care she could recover. We wanted to give her every chance to get well. Joanie’s comprehensive wellness strategy included not only customized medicine and dedicated nursing care to treat her physical conditions. We also care for her overall wellbeing, which includes meeting her social needs.”

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The Aviary veterinary staff made her a custom habitat in their Avian Hospital ICU. They began feeding her a diet of her favorite fruits and treating her with a combination of “human-grade medicines.”

Soon, the Aviary says Joanie regained her strength and appetite, and she is now back in her place at the Wetlands habitat.

“When Joanie returned to the Wetlands, she immediately fell back into her normal routine, brightening our days with her playful personality. Her most recent wellness checkup showed her prognosis has improved greatly, and we feel she is set up to stay healthy for the long-term,” Dr. Fish said.

(Photo Courtesy: National Aviary)

The Wattled Curassow is an endangered species that lives in the Amazon basin. They are turkey-like birds with a distinctive curlicue arrangement of feathers on top of their heads. They also have big, bold personalities, the Aviary says.

The National Aviary is now sharing their treatment plan for Joanie with other bird experts around the world.

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