Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Michael Vick has a pet parrot.
Yes, that Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback who spent 18 months in federal prison on dog-fighting charges. The same Michael Vick who admitted he drowned or electrocuted dogs who lost in the ring. The man who gives many animal lovers the shivers with the mere mention of his name.
About a month ago, owner Todd Marcus of Todd Marcus Exotic Birds Inc. reported that Vick, his fiancée and their two children stopped by his house and purchased a 6-inch-tall Caique parrot.
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Marcus expressed confidence that Vick will be a responsible parrot owner. “He is under a microscope,” Marcus said. “If he did something to harm the bird, it would be insanity.”
Insanity? Allowing a convicted animal abuser to have a pet. That’s insanity. To be clear: Michael Vick commited a crime. He served his time. And we can’t turn back time, so if Vick uses his notoriety to dissuade others from acting with similar horrific indifference I say, great. But that does not justify in any way his being allowed to “own” an animal personally. It’s not a risk worth taking.
Apparently, Vick and his fiancée were inspired to buy a parrot after having seen “Rio” — an animated film in which Blue is captured from the wild and then rescued by someone who tries to return him to the wild — where the parrot wants to be and belongs!
The irony evidently is lost on Vick.
But perhaps the Vick family spokesperson offers a hint of a silver lining. According to him, Vick’s fiancée felt that the parrot “would be good company for (the children) when Mike is traveling.”
Let’s hope for the parrot’s sake that they are better around animals than Vick has been.