Jan 23, 2013

A new beginning

Adios Chiquito!

Yesterday we drove Chiquito to a new temporary home in Mazatlan.

Over the past weeks we had come to realize that we could not let Chiquito live in a cage for the rest of it's life.  It so much enjoyed the freedom of roaming around and even flying a bit inside the RV.  This bird had a strong spirit and a strong body and was afraid of nothing.  We knew that when we went back to Canada in April that whoever took over the bird would have to keep it in a cage.  Not everyone is willing to turn their home over to a bird plus most homes here in Mexico are open and most have no screens on the windows.

So we began to research options.  One was putting him in with other birds in an aviary at the zoo.  Another involved possible re release to the wild.  Mazatlan has an organization called Conrehabit.

CONREHABIT, AC, (Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Habitat) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of the effects of economic development on the fragile Mexican tropical dry forest ecosystem. CONREHABIT promotes conservation efforts in northwestern Mexico, actively seeks to educate the public in the importance of conservation, works with governmental agencies to minimize the detrimental effects of development on the local ecosystem, and maintains facilities for the study of, and rehabilitation of wildlife.

This group has rescued ducklings, a Howler Monkey, many birds and conures and now our Chiquito.  Martha Armenta ( President of Conrehabit )  and pictured above is passionate about wildlife.  This is a quote she has on their website.

“The wild animals and birds that are smuggled north are sold for hundreds of dollars at the border towns,” said Martha. “They do terrible things to the birds. Immediately upon capture, they clip their wings so short that they go into shock. For every bird that makes it alive to the border, eight die.” It is not only smugglers which concern CONREHABIT members. Knowingly, or unwittingly, tourists purchase lizards, parrots and other wildlife in contravention of federal laws. The sellers tell the tourists to put the animals or birds in their suitcases if flying home and they will be fine. Needless to say, the lizard or bird suffocates to death. “If there´s one thing I want to say to tourists,” said Martha, “it is don´t buy wildlife. Vendors on the highway, or the streets, are selling them illegally. They kill the adults to take the young, leaving no adults to procreate.” While fighting an active campaign against wildlife smuggling, the members of Conrehabit are dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing wildlife closer to home. Originally a wildlife clinic at the Mazatlán Aquarium started by the late Kittie Jepson and veterinarian Aldo Barragan Arias, the non-profit association has grown to comprise professionals with doctorates and masters in the fields of biology, veterinary medicine and wildlife rehabilitation.

So lesson learned, we will never buy another bird on the street ever again.  However at least we saved this monk parrots life.

We placed Chiquito's cage on top of a large cage with 3 conures inside and immediately they all began talking to each other. Chiquito is sitting on the bottom of his cage.

Once we left Martha was going to move our bird into the huge white cage which will give him lots of room to move and fly about.

Plus Chiquito will be able to see the other birds and get to know them.  Martha is also expecting two more parrots in the next few weeks and possibly one might become a roommate to our little guy. As it is winter here this will be the temporary solution until March.

At that time Martha will re check with the head of the environmental enforcement office here in Mazatlan who has approved Chiquitio's re release as to the actual location.  Ideally the location would be a 60 acre piece of land that currently has a huge ( several metres ) cage that is set up for the birds to come and go as they please.  Food is left for them daily but they are free to stay out all day and only come back at night or if they are ready they don't return.  This piece of land is not too far from here and is known for its multitude of free flying parrots.  The best news is that we will be able to go there in March and see Chiquito make this final transition to freedom.

We made a point of bringing each of the girls in to see where their bird was being left.

We were quite concerned about Carmeh being depressed but she seems to be alright.  She definitely is wanting more cuddles but seems to have accepted that her baby is gone.  Caeli of course doesn't care.

From there we did some grocery shopping, took the girls to the vet for anal gland expression and rushed back to the Isla for my bookclub.  It was a very tiring and emotional day.

I was glad to get that bottle of vino open at days end.

Wonder where this jet is headed?

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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “A new beginning”

  1. Nancy says:

    That’s great news, Contessa, you did the right thing. Did Martha show you that two of those three conures in the big cage are the ones we had here for 4 years or so, Pancho and Lefty?

    Isn’t Martha wonderful? She is so passionate and energetic.

    • contessa says:

      Yes she did point out your two. I thought that was interesting, how our birds are now together. Martha is an amazing bundle of positive energy.

  2. That is an awesome choice, and hope all works out for all concerned.

  3. longdog2 says:

    Hope your little bird has a long happy life.

  4. Teri says:

    You guys are the bomb…..seriously, what a perfect way to handle this. Reading about how they are captured and how many die makes me so sad. Thank you both for being so compassionate.

  5. Connie in PA says:

    Dang it, Contessa, I was doing great reading this today and then came to the picture of Colin and the doggy looking in the cage at Chiquito and started bawling!!! I agree with all the comments above. You guys are the best!!! (((HUGS)))

  6. marty says:

    Rudy at Torres Mazatlan talks about a wildlife rescue place. I wonder if this is the place he was talking about. Is it north of the city?

  7. Jean says:

    What a hard thing, but a good thing to do, Chiquito will be free, as he should be.

  8. Elaine says:

    awww brings a tear to my eye….he will be free as a bird

  9. Kelly says:

    Thank you for such a compassionate post Contessa….


    • contessa says:

      Thanks everyone for your support. It really helps. I can’t believe how much we miss all the squawking.