Update: He is eating on its own. Wildlife Inc. is feeding it raw chicken and is still being injected with fluids. Tomorrow, Wildlife Inc. will begin to clean the paint off of him by soaking him in Dawn and water. It will likely be a few more weeks before he is released into the wild.
BRADENTON, Fla. - Wildlife officials have finally captured the elusive "red" vulture in northwest Bradenton.
The bird was first spotted about a week and a half ago. On Monday, it was caught in a wooded area off of 83rd Street Northwest by Damen Hurd with Wildlife Incorporated.
"I was able to scare him down from the tree. He fumbled and fell and I was able to grab him at that point," said Hurd, who videotaped the entire capture.
After the capture, the bird was brought to Wildlife Incorporated on Bradenton Beach. There, officials discovered that the bird was not suffering from some strange medical condition, but that someone had poured red paint on the animal.
"To pin an animal down and spray paint it is just sickening to me," said Hurd.
Dr. Clay Wilson, a veterinarian, examined the bird and determined the toxins from the paint caused the animal to become dehydrated and depressed. The bird also appeared to have lost weight. To get it back in shape, wildlife rehabilitators will be injecting the bird with some much needed fluids, several times a day. Dr. Wilson also discovered that the paint will come off by using some soapy water.
"Once we stabilize it, we are going to wash the paint off," said Dr. Wilson.
The vulture, now nicknamed, "Valentine," is expected to make a full recovery.
To learn more about the animal's status, visit: http://www.facebook.com/WildlifeInc