Saturday, April 16, 2016

Scum of the Earth

The following story, in its entirety, appeared on the San Diego Community Newspaper Group website, sdnews.com, April 12, 2016:

A wild parrot in an Ocean Beach tree. The San Diego Department of Animal Services has said it is actively investigating the ongoing series of OB parrot killings.
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call (619) 692-4800.
Photo by Patty Sammuli

'Coward' continues killing parrots in Ocean Beach
by Dave Schwab

Scattered reports continue of wild parrots being shot to death by pellets by an unknown assailant in Ocean Beach.

Meanwhile, People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) continues to offer a monetary reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s).

The nonprofit animal welfare group talked about the “psychology” of whoever the culprit(s) might be, while discussing what that means for the beach community.

“Even if someone doesn't necessarily consider themselves to be an animal lover, I think everyone is concerned for the (Ocean Beach) community,” said Dan Carron, PETA's outreach coordinator, in the wake of the more than five birds killed during the past several weeks in the OB area.

Carron offered this caveat about whoever is responsible for the recent bird slayings.

“People who abuse animals rarely do so only once,” he said. “And a lot of them often go on to abuse more animals – and people in some instances. It's a great threat for everybody, and should be viewed as a community concern.”

Reports on exactly how many birds have been felled varies, though Carron noted, “We keep getting multiple reports, different numbers, but it's absolutely more than a handful now, half a dozen, around there.”

Carron added PETA continues to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to whoever is responsible “being nabbed.”

Speculation abounds that the parrot killer(s) are most likely juveniles living in the beach area. But that is uncertain.

“The one thing we know for sure is that, whoever is doing this, is a coward,” Carron said. “It's the act of a bully who's taking out their personal issues and frustrations on defenseless birds, parrots.”

Carron pointed out all of the slain birds did not die quickly – or painlessly.

“In some cases, they're not dying right away,” he said. “Some of the parrots have suffered greatly before they died. One even died after it was taken in and given surgery.”

The San Diego Department of Animal Services has said it is actively investigating the ongoing series of OB parrot killings. Anyone with information in the case is urged to call (619) 692-4800.

Wild parrots survive on seeds, fruit and nectar from tropical trees and shrubs planted in urban and residential areas in communities like Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.

Parrots do not migrate, but stay in San Diego year-round. They have established communal roosts around the county that they return to each night. During the day, the birds will fly out to a variety of food sources, depending on the time of year.

Not native to Southern California, the exact origin of the squawky, commonplace wild parrots widely seen throughout San Diego is a matter of conjecture.

Some speculate the parrot population may have been contributed to by birds that escaped from the San Diego Zoo during its early days. Another theory is that parrots native to northern Mexico originally came to California in search of a suitable habitat as areas of Mexico became deforested.

However they got here, exotic wild parrots have established themselves as a colorful addition to more than 500 species of birds found throughout San Diego County.

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