I am posting this with the hopes that the membership will contact this organization and impress upon them the seriousness of the care they are not providing. This is the situation: In January, we visited "Exotic Animal Zoo" which, back then, was really just a place with a bunch of snakes and gators and a few birds, one of which was a lone Moluccan cockatoo. In June, we went back and found "Sidney" (is every cockatoo named Sidney??) was still alone even after asking this place in January why he was alone. We also noticed another bird, one who had obviously been there long enough to develop a feather-plucking habit and had made pretty good progress. At that time, they promised they were getting a new friend for "Sidney".
Two weeks ago my son's school had a field trip to this place which is in New Braunfels, TX and I was very surprised to see Sidney was still there, and still alone, standing very close to the small heater that was up against the side of his huge, empty cage. This time the person giving the tour told us they had bought this place and had been accredited as a zoo by whichever organization accredits zoos.
When I asked what happened to the feather plucker, they told me he had gone to a new home. Then I asked about Sidney, that I had been told nearly a year ago that his new friend was a short time away. Sidney is in a cage with what looks like chain link outside and a smaller wire inside. One lone chain hangs from the ceiling and has a few wood *toys* on it's end. There may be a perch, I didn't notice. I did notice, however, that Sidney's legs are looking less feathered. He is clearly starting to pluck. Again I was told his new mate was coming soon but have no reason to believe them. Every other bird there, with the exception of Sidney, has a companion. The story they told was one of the ravens in the cage on the end of the row of four cages, got one of the hookbills in the second cage from the end. After losing his mate, the hookbill reached through to the Moluccan's cage, grabbed one of the cockatoos by the foot and killed it. It sounds not only bizarre, but almost physically impossible. The hookbill's bill is several inches long and crescent shaped. Even if it could get it's beak into the Moluccan's cage, it's more likely the Moluccan would destroy the hookbill's bill before the Cockatoo was killed. Anyway, I have already mailed them and emailed them, offering at no cost to take Sidney in, rehabilitate him physically, and re-home him. I pointed out that for Sidney, time was of the essence, not just because it looks like he's starting to pluck, but because as a cockatoo, he has needs that are being ignored. The only human contact he has is when the keeper takes him out to play with him, which she says she does a lot. She stressed that Sidney was not a breeder, he was a pet; which makes his lot all the more sad. She also pointed out that the vet would be there next week to trim toenails and beaks. Sidney's cage is next to the largest of the cages that houses a pair of hyacinth macaws.
I have not received any reply, and in my current situation, taking in another cockatoo is a very generous offer considering the birds I am rehabilitating now. I can't stop thinking about this poor bird and all the stories I have heard about him getting a companion "soon" since January. I fear he will start plucking full-time and may already be very depressed making the likelihood of successful introduction of another bird nearly impossible. I don't live far from them, I know some other members probably live near as well. If they aren't willing to do the right thing, I'm willing to protest there until they do. And if anybody thinks the power of protest doesn't work, I'd ask you to look at the groups who protested Petlands in Austin and other locations, forcing Austin to pass laws and other stores to lose sales and close.
The Ultimate Cockatoo Message Board needs to reach out to this place and send them the ultimate message; Cockatoos are not macaws, they must have attention, toys, and companionship whether human or other and that attention must be constant. As the weather gets colder, is one tiny heater going to be enough? This is the epitome of cruelty; and I know this group will not allow them to continue to keep Sidney in the circumstance he currently exists under. The caretaker made it clear that Sidney is not a priority, the 30 acres behind the zoo that they purchased to further develop more of their zoo are the priority. Can we get together and help Sidney?