Saturday, June 18, 2016

Parrots in Crisis: Vancouver Island's World Parrot Refuge

The World Parrot Refuge, located on Canada's Vancouver Island, is an educational facility that provides a “Home for Life” for previously owned pet parrots, and is operated by the “For the Love Of Parrots Refuge Society”. The Refuge has over 800 parrots, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and 23,000 square feet of heated indoor free-flight aviaries with plans for 16,000 square feet of easily accessed outdoor flights for the warmer months. Founded by Wendy Huntbach, the Refuge opened to the public for educational purposes on June 11, 2005.

So says the World Parrot Refuge website.

Caregivers at the Coombs World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island are struggling to care for birds like these. They hope to find new homes for up to 600 parrots and cockatoos.

Unfortunately for the parrots at World Parrot Refuge, Wendy Huntbach died early this year and her husband has washed his hands of the refuge. The refuge and the parrots are in dire straits. Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, located in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, has stepped in as interim manager to oversee the wind down of the refuge. Greyhaven faces an August 1st deadline to find new homes for approximately 600 parrots! Should they fail, some parrots may be euthanized.

According to an urgent appeal from Greyhaven, a small volunteer-run rescue:

Most of our volunteers also work full-time. Typically we take in and adopt out about 200 birds a year. We are now in the position of trying to find suitable housing for about 600 birds, with us being on the Mainland and the birds being on the Island.  This is a daunting task, and we are doing it with integrity and a steadfast resolve to maintain our own high standards. 

The birds need us, and Greyhaven has invested a massive amount of time, effort and funds in an attempt to address the very pressing needs of these birds. 

Financial support is greatly needed, we are currently paying salaries for the staff at the refuge, purchasing food, paying medical fees and purchasing cages and other supplies needed for housing birds as they move out of the refuge. Believe it or not we are even paying for a porta-potty for the staff. 

Dr McDonald and the staff at Night Owl Bird Hospital are working around the clock to provide medical care to the most critically ill birds at the refuge.  Lab work and medications are very real costs that can't be donated or overlooked.

There currently is a crowdfunding effort underway to raise funds to support Greyhaven and the parrots of World Parrot Refuge. To read more about the dire straits these parrots face see recent articles published on CBC News, June 15th and June 18th.

Please help. If you are in Canada, please consider adopting a parrot from the refuge, or help find new homes for the parrots. If not in Canada, please consider a financial contribution to help in this desperate effort.

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