I could not in a million years have imagined the type of traction my post To The Person Wanting To Buy A Bird would get. I know I’ve said that already, but it’s still mind blowing to me. I’m up to five thousand two hundred views so far.
Today was an interesting and hard day at the sanctuary. First off, a very experienced and well-loved-by-the-birds volunteer had an unfortunate run-in with an African Grey beak. This was another painful and unfortunate lesson in dealing with birds for all of us there today. The element of surprise. Unpredictability. Especially with rescued birds whose history you don’t quite fully know.
She was simply putting the food/water dishes on the perch for them, and BAM! The bird charged, and jumped at her face, clamped down on her nose and hung there until he decided he was done. At that point, she came out looking for paper towels, help, and no doubt some Xanax. The amount of adrenaline involved is astounding. I’ve only had comparatively small bites on my hands, so I can’t imagine the surge from having one of these “little
effers darlings” pierce your nose!
It was a quite literal piercing clear through her nostril. Lots of blood. Tears of pain and no doubt hurt. After all, we are all there of our choice just to do some good, “We are feeding you, damnit!” It’s hard to separate that logic. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
Once everything calmed a bit from that, we finished cleaning, feeding, watering, treating, all with a little side of trepidation. Next I thought i’d take off after a quick walk through of the aviary. … I ended up sitting and chatting with some volunteers. I wanted to see if Joey the Amazon would let me pick him up and pet him again. A week or so prior I was able to hold him, scratch him, and play a little with him. I noticed it was only once he wanted to step up, though.
I patiently sat beside his open perch and after a bit, he slid down his little top perch pole, wandered to the front beside me, I looked up and started to offer my finger, he turned to head to the rear perch, I turned back to the conversation and after a couple of minutes heard him shriek out, and then “THUD!” hit the newspapered base of his play perch.
We all just looked at him, stunned. I thought he pierced the paper and was stuck, but someone picked up his little body to cradle him and see what was happening. He let out a few cries on his back and just like that, he was gone with one final wailed exhalation.
He was gone. .. ?!!
What. the. hell. just happened?!
The conclusion was that it must’ve been a heart attack or heart-related ‘incident’ for it to happen so suddenly and quickly. We were all thankful he didn’t suffer through a long illness, but heavens! That was just out of nowhere, and it was so sad to watch a bird that everyone interacted with daily and love just ‘go’.
The truth about animals wrapped up in one day of volunteering. It’s hard to watch nature reclaim her creations, but I think we’ve all found solace in giving him at least a beautiful place to end his time surrounded by caring and love.
R.I.P. Joey 😦