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The largest falcon hospital in the world

For centuries, falcons have been revered in the Middle East for their beauty, fierce demeanor and superb hunting ability. So it is fitting that Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is home to the largest hospital for falcons in the world, where falcons are treated in operating rooms, an ophthalmology department and a pox area. (There is even a large intensive-care unit for the sickest birds.)

When Dr. Margit Muller, the hospital’s director, describes a typical day there, it sounds much like a place devoted to the treatment of human patients: conducting rounds, checking up on the administration of medication, surgery. “Falcons are regarded like children in a family,” Muller says. “The way the Emirati falconers treat their falcons like their family members makes this work so much more precious.”

Text by Julie Bosman / NY Times

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