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The story of Abdullah the 1-legged Gray Heron.
Thursday, 17th July 2014
Source : Cocoa Island by COMO
When we look through photos of Cocoa Island by COMO on Instagram, we noticed that our guests loved to take photos of Abdullah, the one-legged gray heron that frequents Cocoa Island;

You may not know this, but the story of his missing leg is quite an exciting one. And who better to tell the tale than Zara, one of Abdullah's rescuers!
 
Update: We previously posted this story with our heron named Michael. He's always had a couple of names, but we've now decided that Abdullah suits him better.
4Hoteliers Image Library
From left to right: Siddeeg, Zara and Abdullah

Our favorite Gray Heron came to Cocoa Island about two years ago. We didn’t disturb him, and usually just left him alone to his own devices.

After some time he started coming more often and stayed near the swimming pool. He probably received assurances from our team that this is the best island in the Maldives for him to stay in!
 
So this heron goes on his life, catching fish from the lagoon and at the same time catching the hearts of our guests and the team in Cocoa Island. Finally he became the celebrity of Cocoa Island and was named “Abdullah”.
 
4Hoteliers Image LibraryIt was a rainy and windy evening of late July. My colleague Siddeeq and I were busy with the Front Office operations, when suddenly our security guard Abdullah ran into the front office. He was nervous and breathless, and gasped that something was terribly wrong!
 
So we jumped out of our seats and I went with him and saw Abdullah hanging upside down from an outdoor air-conditioner unit.

He had gotten his leg stuck in the base of the A/C unit while he was trying to take shelter from the rain and wind. While trying to break free, his leg got broken and was badly injured.
 
We got close enough and Adullah (the human one) got a hold of his sharp beak. I carefully held him and the three of us managed to remove his badly injured leg from there. His leg was attached to the rest of his body by only a thin strip of skin!
 
We took him to the front office and discovered that some of the bone fragments and flesh were missing. 

4Hoteliers Image LibraryAs it was broken from the upper thigh, we found out that the only way to save him is by amputating his leg.

We put a hand towel around his head and used a sharp blade to cut the strip of skin that kept his leg joined to his body.

We then disinfected the wound with dettol solution and applied betadine ointment. We covered the wound with enough dressing bandage and tape so that it would last at least a few days.

We had to do this as it would not be possible to catch him again to reapply fresh bandages. After this, we gave him some painkillers and released him.
 
We observed and fed him for the first few days. He was doing well and we were really glad that he fully recovered before long!

Abdullah is now enjoying his life as a normal heron, catching fish from the lagoon and occasionally approaching our restaurant to get a free meal from our friendly guests and waiters. So the next time you see him, remember that this adorable member of our family is one brave bird!

www.comohotels.com

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