The Israeli Wildlife Hospital (IWH) is opening the first bird blood bank in the world to be used for migrating birds, especially birds of prey, who are found injured or exhausted in Israeli territory.
Like humans, birds have different blood types. The project to create a blood bank for birds is the brainchild of Dr. Elad Smit, who said the Israeli blood bank already has 16 samples.
“Now we’re considering taking a blood sample from every bird we treat, to aid in the saving of the next bird that would come,” he said, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
So far, the blood bank has helped a common buzzard, which was given a blood transfusion and was later released back into the wild after it recovered.
“We know we still have a long road ahead, but this is a significant breakthrough in the treatment of wild birds,” said Dr. Yigal Horowitz, IWH’s director. “We’re proud to be the first hospital in the world with such a blood bank.”