Sunday, August 19, 2012

Extreme Parrots

Extreme Parrots! Extremely Discouraging!

Let us start by stating that we believe that parrots should be allowed to be, simply stated, parrots! It's an open question to us whether parrots are suitable to be pets. Any parrot person who is honest will admit that Cockatoo parrots are not. Suitable to be pets, that is. We are old enough to remember the Cockatoo craze resulting from the 1970s Robert Blake television crime series Baretta, with his faithful Cockatoo parrot named Fred. We can only imagine how many Cockatoos were discarded, abandoned, and neglected after the initial television induced infatuation wore off.

It is our experience working in parrot rescue that parrot rescues and sanctuaries are populated by Cockatoos more than any other parrot. We were less than thrilled recently to learn about the appearance on the reality television program America's Got Talent of a new bird whisperer (we use that term pejoratively) working under the nom de guerre Extreme Parrots, by the name of Clint Carvalo. We don't watch reality television, and very little television at all. Running a parrot rescue, we have enough reality in our life to deal with. We were made aware of Extreme Parrots by the effusive postings about the program on Facebook by parrot people who should know better.

Extreme Parrots purports to use only abandoned and abused parrots. Acquired presumably from parrot rescues and sanctuaries. Which begs the question: What parrot rescues and sanctuaries in their right minds would provide parrots for entertainment purposes? We don't have a clue if Extreme Parrots won their heat and advanced in the America's Got Talent contest? Or what their next bird trick would be if they did. We only know that people who should not under any circumstances be allowed to have parrots will acquire parrots in an attempt to duplicate the tricks they see on television. Parrots will be lost, hurt, discarded, and abandoned in the attempt. Anyone who pretends otherwise is an idiot!

We can wonder how many parrots were lost or discarded in the attempt to perfect this one particular bird trick? We're not even sure if it's real, or computer enhanced. Nonetheless, there will be consequences for parrots in the real world because of the use of parrots on reality television. And the consequences, for parrots and parrot rescues, will not be good.


justaNYgirl said...

I agree 1000%. As soon as I saw there was a parrot on the show, I cringed. I know the bird has been on more than once, but I only saw the "trick" where he flew from the roof of one building into the theater across the street and onto stage. I was pretty horrified when the man said they'd never tried that particular "trick" before and he wasn't sure what would happen. I realize that bit might be for dramatic purposes, but it's dramatic enough without the faux-drama. With the rash of exotic animal attacks on humans lately, I had felt somewhat hopeful that it might inspire people to get motivated enough to create legislation and regulation of having exotic animals as pets (including parrots- even though I realize what a stretch that is for people and their egos and need for "freedom" to own whatever they want.) This show pretty much cancelled out any glimmer of hope I had for parrots. I had to get out of animal/parrot rescue because it never ends and never gets better or easier and I needed to save my own sanity. I have my three rescued parrots and will have them until they or I die and luckily I have a sanctuary who will take them if I should die first, however more and more LEGITIMATE sanctuaries (not breeders and/or traders pretending to be sanctuaries/rescues) are unable to take in any more parrots, as they are already overburdened. It's so sad, I can hardly think about it any more.

Michael Ostrogorsky said...

To say this parrot trick had never been attempted before is nonsense! The parrot trainer Steve Martin (who is a legitimate parrot trainer and educator) perfected this trick years ago.