The rescue of surrendered and abandoned parrots

PBS had a wonderful documentary on rescuing parrots surrendered or abandoned by “owners.” They’re near extinction in the wild but millions are held in captivity just in the US. They’re so complex & demanding, so intelligent & emotional, & cannot bear loneliness so that thousands are surrendered every year.

People buy them on a whim or without knowing much about them & then are horrified at the commitment involved. When in captivity, they lose their purpose for being–foraging, mating, nurturing young–& can develop aggressive or self-mutilating behaviors. Many require psychiatric interventions to heal from abuse or neglect.

The emotional suffering of neglected parrots is wrenching to observe & many who care for them eventually come to oppose breeding or selling them as merchandise. And that includes the macaws & cockatoos down to wee cockatiels & parakeets. They’re remarkable, admirable animals & should be left in nature. Unfortunately, once in captivity, they’re no longer suited for the wild.

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