Born Free USA Global Field Projects
Anne Sofie Meilvang of the Limbe Wildlife Center blogs:
Another consignment of Africa gray parrots arrived in Limbe Wildlife Center Tuesday. The parrots were rescued on the way to Nigeria by a joint operation between the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) and the LAGA, a non-governmental organization working with MINFOF.
The parrots came here in a terrible condition; they were packed very tight in 11 low crates without food or water. On arrival 48 birds were already dead.
We estimate that we received about 700 to 800 birds.
As soon as we received the birds we released them from the crates and gave them plenty of food and water. They were starving and were very thirsty! Our veterinary team brought the birds in the worst condition to our clinic for treatment and intensive care. We left the rest of the birds alone, to avoid stressing them further. The parrots are very sensitive to stress.
Yesterday five more birds died. Many of the parrots are very skinny and have wounds or broken wings after having been packed so tight in the crates.
Luckily it seems like many have intact feathers and will be ready to release back to the wild as soon as they have recovered.
Even though we have received several parrots like this before, it is always a sad experience each time they come in. The first days the parrots are very scared. They scream and cry and sudden movements make them frightened. Today I sit in my office and I can hear that they have started singing. Hopefully they feel a bit better already.
From our experience with parrots over the years, it is a huge investment in food, in drugs and human resources rehabilitating these parrots and releasing them back into the wild.