Pets

Animal Tales | Fiesty parrot learns to love at SC-CARES

Molly is a double yellow-headed Amazon at SC-CARES.
Molly is a double yellow-headed Amazon at SC-CARES. Courtesy photo

Molly came to SC-CARES back in 2008. We received a call from a gentleman whose father had just passed away and Molly was left behind.

The story we were given is that this man had taken the bird in when his neighbor passed away. We were unable to get a definite history on Molly so her age is guess and we have no idea how many homes she had lived in prior to coming here.

Typically, amazons are known to be a bit aggressive at times and Molly certainly lived up to that. At first, she would fly over to someone to attack them and it seemed to follow a theme. Women with long, light-colored hair usually in a ponytail were her targets.

After patiently working with her, she finally stopped flying at people but then started to stalk them. Molly would quietly climb off of her house and sleek across the floor to sneak up on an unsuspecting person, and then lunge at their feet, trying to bite them.

It was somewhat comical to watch the human dance about trying not get bit and not to step on the parrot, but for the person being attacked it was not so much fun.

Over the last several years Molly has calmed down a lot and it’s rare now that she stalks anyone.

From the time Molly arrived, trying to work with her was scary; knowing sometimes parrots will “step up” (meaning they step onto your hand) and bite you while you’re holding them. After some nips and lots of patience, Molly has chosen several people that she likes and fortunately I am one of those humans.

She allows me to hold her, give kisses and hugs but is not fond of being petted. We all have our limits, right?

Molly has come so far in her relationships learning to trust us and allowing us to love her. Molly does talk, although not a lot, but one of her signature sayings is “how are you?” in a British accent. She is a beautiful bird and hopefully will be with us for many more years given their life expectancy is 60 years.

Double yellow-headed Amazons are found in Central America, parts of Mexico and in Belize. They are now on the endangered list due to loss of habitat and primarily because of poachers.

Their numbers have gone from 70,000 to 7,000 just in the past 20 years. Poachers steal the babies from the nest to sell in the exotic pet trade but sadly more than half of them die before they even make it to the industry.

If you’ve ever thought of giving a home to a parrot, please adopt don’t buy; there are thousands out there looking for homes. SC-CARES doesn’t adopt out, we’re a true sanctuary, but we have access to information on parrots that need homes.

To visit Molly and the other SC-CARES residents contact us to schedule your appointment. Visit www.sc-cares.org for information on our animal residents and ways you can help them.

Cindy Hedrick is the co-founder and director of SC-CARES. Visit www.sc-cares.org or call 546-7893.

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