Ash died suddenly and violently in front of many onlookers, including children. “It was over in seconds,” one woman reportedly stated. “People were horrified. Women and children were screaming. My little boy was in tears.”
Ash was 9 years old and her death seemed to amuse some other folks, according to letters to the editor in response to the news reports.
And what did we learn? The death did happen at a facility that, we are told, is educational.
An Environmental Risk Usually Ignored Is Identified
Some recently published research indicates that 75 percent of the zoos in Spain are at risk of having their animals escape, due to inadequate caging or barriers. The study was published in the scientific journal Biological Invasions, and divided the risk between those exhibits with inadequate containment and those where animals could escape “because the public could release them or remove them from their cages or tanks.” The concern of lead researcher Maria C. Fabregas and her team was specifically for the environment and conservation.
Captured by the thousands from exotic locations, few wild birds survive the long journey to distant pet markets. Primates, rare reptiles, and other species are traded as “pets” to people who don’t understand these animals’ specialized needs. Bears are slaughtered for their gallbladders and paws. Elephants are murdered for their ivory, and young elephants are forcibly torn from their families to be shipped to far-off zoos. Fox, ermine, mink, and other furbearers are ensnared in barbaric traps to provide fur for fashion.
As API supporters know, thousands of birds are exploited every year in the lucrative exotic “pet” trade. Despite the scale of these animals’ suffering, their plight remains a relatively overlooked one. That’s why API has made captive birds a key component of our “More Beautiful Wild” campaign. Through More Beautiful Wild, we aim to reduce the number wild-caught and captive-bred birds who are exploited in the international and domestic pet trade.
This article provides an update on the very latest activities in our fight to protect wild birds, and to keep them in their rightful place: in the wild.
Are you planning (or even just dreaming about) your next vacation? Did you know that you can help animals while seeing the world? Ecotourism — a unique and conscientious form of travel — makes it possible for travelers to visit sites of astounding natural beauty and, at the same time, to support local communities, conserve wildlife, and protect the habitat upon which wild animals depend.
Wild at Heart: Birds in Captivity
“A forest bird never wants a cage.” — Henrik Ibsen, 1828–1906
Even when bred in captivity, exotic birds cannot properly be considered domesticated animals. They are the native species of other countries whose inherent behavioral and physical needs remain intact, even when they lose their freedom.
Imagine a colorful flock of parrots flying free. Perhaps you picture them in lush Mexican jungles or on craggy mountainsides in South America. But what about in the hectic streets of San Francisco?
The pet shop seemed more like a pawn store, a place where disenchanted caretakers unloaded their birds for quick cash. During my visit, abandoned birds clamored for attention or followed me [Monica Engebretson] curiously with their eyes — except for a pair of Amazon parrots who sat motionless, side-by-side, with the most expressionless eyes I have ever seen in another living creature.