This sweet bird came to the S.C. Coastal Animal Rescue and Educational Sanctuary in 2012, making it her sixth home at 8 years of age. That’s a lot of moving around for a parrot.
In some of our other articles, we discussed how sensitive these creatures are to changes in their environment and how the slightest change can cause them stress that could lead to plucking issues. Being a prey animal cannot be easy, always having to be on guard and watching for a predator. So for Asia, her life has been quite stressful, which has caused her to pull out her feathers.
Asia is an eclectus parrot; males usually have bright green plumage, or feathers, while females have mainly bright red or purple and blue plumage. It’s sad to see the pictures of what her plumage should look like and to know that her continued plucking has probably caused the follicles to close and never produce another feather.
It’s bad enough that she’s not flying around Australia and the neighboring islands, free to live her life, but she has been held in captivity and passed around from place to place. Asia is actually pretty quiet for a parrot. She will make a popping sound with three to four clicks, and that’s pretty much it.
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She can be very destructive on wooden door frames, or anything that she can chew on, which is the reason she was brought to SC-CARES.
The lady who had her felt bad that she couldn’t allow Asia out of the cage because she chewed on the furniture and parts of the house. This woman tried to place her with a couple of other people who always ended up bringing her back. After several placements with no success, the lady found us, and we took Asia in. This explains all the different homes she had in her short life, which led to her distress and plucking.
We’ve been asked about adopting the animals out, saying this would make room for other animals to come in, and although I’m not saying we never will, I do have to think of these animals first and what it would mean to them. We do not want to create a revolving door for exotic “pets” for human benefit. SC-CARES is what I consider the last stop, the end of passing around, the stability of routine and, hopefully, the end of their stress.
An animal sanctuary is a facility where animals are brought to live to be safe and protected for the rest of their lives. Unlike animal shelters, sanctuaries do not seek to place animals with individuals or groups, instead maintaining each animal until his or her natural death. The mission of sanctuaries is generally to be safe havens, where the animals receive the best care that the sanctuaries can provide. Animals are not bought, sold or traded, nor are they used for animal testing.
The resident animals are given the opportunity to behave as natural as possible in a protective environment.A sanctuary is not open to the public as a zoo would be; that is, the public is not allowed unescorted access to any part of the facility. A sanctuary tries not to allow any activity that would place the animals in an unduly stressful situation.
One of the most important missions of sanctuaries, beyond caring for the animals, is educating the public. The ultimate goal of a sanctuary should be to change the way humans think of, and treat, non-human animals. This definition perfectly describes what SC-CARES is all about.
Asia is a very loving bird for those who have bonded with her. She loves to tuck her beak into your neck and gently caress the neck with a back and forth motion. This is what is known as her “hug.” She hasn’t done too well with getting along with the other birds, so she comes out to play earlier in the morning while the other birds are being fed and still in their houses.
Playing atop the cabinets is her favorite place to be, getting into whatever she can. We have to make sure the apple bin is covered, or Asia will help herself, taking a bite out of many apples. The eclectus parrots need a higher intake of vitamin A than other parrots, so Asia is on a specially formulated pellet food, and on treat day, we try to make sure she gets fruits and veggies that are high in beta-carotene. At only 11 years old, we want to give Asia the opportunity to live her life span of 60 years as healthy as possible.