Six years and one month ago this little person fell out of his nest and was brought to Eden.
Within a few days we realised that Razzle was blind and we have always suspected he sustained a head injury. With infinite patience and attention, Sany fed and cared for him and replaced his rook mother.
He came to depend on us for almost every need and had to be hand fed every four hours. As a result, he was exquisitely vulnerable and we treated him like a little precious gem.
Life with Razzle at Eden
He lived in a secure aviary outdoors at Eden where he spent his days grooming and bathing and interacting with all the other residents, especially the birds.
He used to love hanging out of the aviary and his endearing and incessant chatter enriched our lives beyond measure.
Conversations with Razzle
I used to think that crows and rooks had one call: a racous caw. But Razzle taught us about the enormous variety, richness and purpose of corvid language. Now I hear it everywhere and I wonder about this parallel, non human world that exists alongside us that we are impervious to.
Despite the obstacles he faced in life, Razzle seemed to be one of the happiest residents at Eden. He spent his days in the sanctuary mimicing all the other birds including the roosters, geese, and Nora the Seagull. He spent nights indoors with us where he learned to mimic some of our phrases. When I hear him I laugh at the echo of my own phrases as I interact with the cats: “come on”, “go, go, go, go, go” “no, no, no, no, no”.
I remember waiting for months to get this video of him at Eden. Everytime I approached his aviary to record him, he stopped talking. Then one day his own enthusiasm overtook his caution or curiosity at my presence and I captured this. I recall those days with him at Eden as among the happiest in my life.
The silence without him is devastating.
A Unique, Precious Character
We would have preferred, for his sake, if he could have been released back to the wild but he brought immense happiness to our lives. Everyone who met Razzle was touched by him. We are so grateful to those who took the beautiful photos and videos of him that are all we have left now.
We always dreaded the day that we would lose him and that day arrived on Sunday, 5th May last, completely unexpectedly. We are in shock and inconsolable.
A recent storm blew a beautiful crow’s nest out of the rookery at Eden. We had been watching and admiring the dedication and dexterity of the crows as they gathered material to build a new one. They hadn’t touched the nest on the ground so I used it as Razzle’s coffin. The last time he was in a nest was the day he was blown out of it as a young bird. It is little comfort to him now but it was a small comfort to us to be able to send him home at the end of his life.
It is too difficult to say goodbye to our precious friend. Sany, Ronnie, and Razzle’s friends, family and carers at Eden now face the difficult task of coping with the trauma of his loss and our grief.
In Memory of Razzle
In Razzle’s memory, we invite supporters to use this Go Vegan World ad on your social media pages. With the launch of this week’s UN report reminding us that species extinction and loss of biodiversity are even more pressing issues than climate change, this is a timely ad. We think of species as a large body of ‘others’. But species are made of unique, sentient beings and if we had the opportunity to know them individually we would realise that every one of them matters, as Razzle did. Veganism is more than what we do or don’t eat and wear. It is a radical act that decentres humans and respects the right of every individual to exist without being harmed, destroyed or killed, regardless of species.
Fly now Raz
Razzle couldn’t fly because he couldn’t see. If there is another life after this one then I hope that he can see where he lived, and the friends he loved, and I hope that at long last he can spread his wings and let the air carry him as he soars way above Eden. We were blessed and privileged to have him in our lives and it will take us a very long time to get over losing him.
Photos: Agatha Kisiel, Chris Copeland, Clara Mozes. Video: Sandra Higgins. Audio: Ronnie Owens.