Free as a bird
Recovering raven Gumby makes a premature exit

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 08/98) - Gumby the raven has flown the coop.

The two-year-old raven had been recovering from a broken wing at the Maund residence on Bryson Drive in Old Town. Amy Maund, 14, took in the injured bird in October after finding him hobbling around on her doorstep.

After six months of rehabilitation, Gumby decided to make the break on Friday during his regular exercise sessions.

"He usually comes home but I guess he felt it was time to go and he left," Amy said.

Gumby had been regaining strength in his chest but still can't fly for too long. Amy said she spotted him on Jolliffe Island Monday. She said he's easy to identify because his right wing drags and the peroxide used to treat his old wound has dyed his underwing brown.

"We thought he'd be with us for a little while longer," said Marjorie Maund, Amy's mother. "We miss him. You do form a bond. He'd eat Cheerios and almonds out of my hand."

The Maunds allowed Gumby to come inside the house in chilly December. Being a mischievous breed of bird, Gumby found his new life with humans interesting. Beyond using the bathroom an estimated 50 to 60 times per day, he got into the cupboards.

"We'd come home and there would be things all over the place," Marjorie said.

Amy added, "We have a spice rack on the counter but we actually had to move it because he knows how to pick them up, open the lids and spray them all over the floor."

He was reportedly also becoming fond of the family's computer and was rather friendly with the cats -- limiting his taunting to pulling their tails and stealing their food.

The Maunds, concerned for Gumby's welfare, continue to keep an eye out for him. They said they gained a wealth of experience by caring for the bird but only did it because he was in dire straits.

"I don't think people should take (ravens) from the nest or anything like that," Marjorie advised. "I wouldn't recommend it."

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