June 16 is a day staff and students at St. Louis Elementary School won’t soon forget.
Staff noticed a young raven sitting on top of one of the buses lined up to take students home. When the bus moved forward to take its place in line, the raven attempted to fly off, accidentally flying into the school.
“Everyone was a little bit worried that he was hurt, but he got back up on the bus again and he stayed there,” said Marsha Costello, a teacher at the school.
When the school buses went down the main road, the raven flew back off the bus and headed to the school’s playground.
Later on in the evening, staff were having a party, part of which took place at the school when they noticed the raven was still on the ground. By June 19 the raven was still there, so Costello and other staff members made some calls trying to find people to help.
She reached Fiep De Bie, from the Wildlife Service at the Atlantic Veterinary College, and arrangements were made with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to bring the raven to the college.
The raven, who has since been given the name Louis, was brought to the college for an exam and x-rays. There were no broken bones, and De Bie was able to learn some information about Louis.
“We noticed right away that it was a young animal,” she said. “It’s a young raven that was born this spring. He was thin, so we gave him extra food and lots of protein so he could grow.”
Louis was also transitioned from smaller cages to larger ones so he could hop up to higher branches and build his strength up. By the end of his stay at the college he was able to reach the highest perch in the largest cage.
Louis was released where he was found, near the playground of St. Louis Elementary.
Costello was the one to release him from the kennel he was transported in.
After briefly perching on the side of the kennel, Louis took a great leap and flew around in a circle before clumsily landing back at the school.
Costello thinks Louis’ progress has been phenomenal.
“He’s been part of our morning announcements, letting the kids know about his progress up until the end of school,” she said. “We were really worried that Monday morning we would find him or parts of him, so the fact that he survived the weekend on the ground and to get out and fly at this moment is amazing.”
The hope is some of Louis’ family is still nearby, and that he will be able to join them soon.