Environmental Conservation Organization’s Plea for Help
In September, more than 500 baby parrots were discovered in the back of a truck during a police operation for suspected drug-smuggling in Bélem Sao Francisco, a small city in Brazil.
The young Amazon Parrots, highly valuable currency in the illegal wildlife trade, were tightly crammed into wire mesh cages and were in poor health.
The seized flock included Blue-Fronted Amazon chicks (Amazona aestiva), Yellow Shoulder amazons, Yellow-faced Amazon chicks (Amazona xanthops), as well as smaller local psittacine species.
Because of their fragile state, the birds were immediately turned over to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, the national agency for natural resources, who in turn transferred them to the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), a non-profit NGO that’s responsible for the health and welfare of wildlife species.
Faced with an overwhelming number of frail and hungry fledglings, the ECO, already operating under severely strained conditions, was forced to send out an S.O.S. to the local community for help.
Volunteers hand-fed the birds with special syringes fitted with long silicone tubes, which had to be inserted directly in the esophagus for efficient feeding and to prevent diseases such as candidiasis and aspiration pneumonia.
In addition, an appeal for special baby parrot food was sent out to the international avian community. The plea was heard by HARI, which immediately provided a donation of 500 pounds of Tropican Hand Feeding Formula for Parrots.
In Brazil, wildlife smuggling is a widespread problem with serious environmental consequences, because it threatens the extinction of wildlife species as well as creates an ecological imbalance to an already fragile eco system.
Wild birds, particularly young ones, often fall prey to illegal wildlife traders.