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Discarded African Grey parrots given free-flight enclosure sanctuary

24 June 2020 8:06 AM
Tags:
African Grey Parrots
Animal sanctuary
Bird of Eden

Find out how The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance is helping to give these long-living parrots a chance to be birds again.

Eight out of ten African Grey parrots globally originate in Africa and they are the most traded parrots in the world.

Many South Africans are unprepared for the demands of owning an African Grey parrot, which creates a massive burden of care on sanctuaries.

Isabel Wentzel, head curator of The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance, speaks to Refilwe Moloto about their plan at Birds of Eden in building free-flight enclosures for parrots who need rehoming.

Wentzel says unlike most other domestic pets, African Grays can live for 60 years in a household, and that can present an issue when the owner dies and the parrot outlives them.

We just get so many requests for African Greys in particular needing new homes.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

She says people begin to realise the birds need more than just to sit in a cage and be taken out now and then.

And when you want to go away you need to find a babysitter.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

All these factors have led to this initiative to provide the birds with a better environment.

We are able to give the parrots a bit more of a choice in life, where instead of sitting in a cage, dependent on what an owner wants to give you.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

We can offer them the social society they need because African Greys are highly sociable and that's the beauty of it because they actually get together so easily - they learn to be African Greys, they learn to be a bird again easily because their social structure is so intense.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

She says when kept as pets, they do often bond with one particular person, and then rehoming to someone else can also be a challenge.

But in an aviary, she says they bond as a flock.

They are so busy and part of it is because they are so intelligent, they want to be entertained by something they can do. They don't just want to sit bored.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

One sign of boredom is when the pluck themselves and display other behavioral issues, she explains.

Contact the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance website here.

She says the special free-flight enclosure will be built behind the scenes at Birds of Eden so that the birds already in the forest are not compromised.

Lockdown slowed the build down but they have all the equipment and are just waiting to complete the project.

It is going to be completely natural, with grass, plants, water, everything in it, which is beautiful for them because they are so busy.

Isabel Wentzel, Head curator -The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

Take a listen below:


24 June 2020 8:06 AM
Tags:
African Grey Parrots
Animal sanctuary
Bird of Eden

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