An article in yesterday's Washington Post, On the Wings of Love, At Temple's Aviary, Problem Birds Find Feathered Friends, was another reminder that wild animals should be left in the wild. According to Mira Tweti, author of the book, Of Parrots and People, "they (birds) are never domesticated. They are wild animals". And, yet, people continue to buy birds -- wild animals, sometimes caught in their native lands, sometimes bred in captivity -- and expect them to be happy living in cages. The article told how the 35 resident birds living in a small building next to the Kunzang Palyul Choling Buddhist temple in Poolesville, Maryland cared for Jetrunma Ahkon Lhamo and others could not be kept by the people who purchased them. The birds -- African grey parrots, macaws, and cockatoos from Australia and the Pacific Islands -- developed destructive behaviors. Many were brought to the sanctuary because they developed self destructive behaviors -- pulling off their plumage, sometimes to the point of piercing their skin underneath. Others become aggressive biting people and other birds.
Kids can help the birds. Trading in Slingshots: HSI Teaches Youth to Protect Wild Birds in Nicaragua an article on the Humane Society of the United States' website, http://www.hsus.org/about_us/humane_society_international_hsi/international_trade_policy_and_capacity_building/trading_slingshots_for_backpacks.html tells how children load rocks into a slingshot and take aim at a wild bird's nest. After the rock hits the nest, the mother bird is usually killed or injured, and the nest falls from the tree with the baby birds inside. The young birds who survive the fall will have their wings clipped and become someone's pets, forced to live in cages or remain confined to a house for the rest of their lives. A Humane Society International education program is partnering with the Foundation Friends of the Nicaraguan Zoo (FAZOONIC) to show students the impact of their actions and expose them to wildlife conservation efforts. At the end of a program, that lasted several month, a ceremony was held where each student lined up to throw a slingshot in the garbage in exchange for a backpack labeled, "I protect animals in my community."
We should be lining up daily to protect the animals in our community. What are you doing?