Isle of Wight woman dedicated to helping wild birds hangs up hat

AN ISLE of Wight woman dedicated to helping rehabilitate orphaned, sick and injured wild birds has hung up her hat due to ill-health. 

Kay Ounsworth, of IW Wild Bird Rehabilitation, which is known fondly as Mr Wally Awol and Friends, made the announcement this week. 

Kay, who has lived on the Isle of Wight all her life, forged a close working relationship with many vets on the Island, including the foremost specialist in avian and wildlife medicine.

She was able to provide all of the on-going aftercare, from cleaning and healing wounds to splinting and stabilizing fractures. 

"It is with a heavy, and very sad heart, that I announce I will be closing permanently to wild bird rehabilitation," said Kay. 

"I still have more than 200 birds here, waiting to be healed, raised and released, and I will maintain my commitment to those who are resident for the rest of their natural lives. 

"My health has been failing, and although I am awaiting many tests and procedures, even if nothing major untoward is found, with many smaller health issues accumulating, continuing would be putting birds at risk of accidental harm, which I am not prepared to do.

I will hopefully head more toward the education sector, keeping up on all the latest news, rehab laws and new developments. 

"I may visit schools, do a little field work, help any vets/nurses, or other animal sanctuaries who have asked previously for teaching support, and mentor those who may be capable of filling in the rehabilitation gaps.

"Monies in the account will be used to continue the care for those here, but I won't accept any further donations."

Kay thanked various organisations and individuals for their support over the years.

Among the many, she thanked Green, Roberts and Butler veterinary surgery, Island Vet Care, Pet Doctors, Medina Vets and Island Vets.

"I'm here, folks. I'm not disappearing," said Kay.

"I'm just about in another capacity; one that hopefully won't lead me to an early grave.

"Thank you — all of you — for your trust, love and support over the years."