Rescuing Gypsy and Tequila

Two Amazons in Mexico show the realities of companion parrot needs in their world.

Rescuing Gypsy and Tequila

Sometimes in life things happen that are beyond our control. They happen at the spur of the moment with no warning. What can we do other than adapt, and accept the situation for what it is. Last weekend I was informed of 2 Amazon parrots in need. Their owner had passed away and they were left in a back patio unattended, and unloved. Needing of a forever home and some serious love.  After a small time of contemplating what I wanted to do I decided I really needed to see the situation in which they were living and make my decision based off of that. So that’s what I did the very next day. I got my family ready and went to check out these parrots.

Once I got there and got into the patio in which they were living I was horrified. I had seen some pretty bad cases here but this one took the cake. They were in a small dark corner in the tiniest cage I’d ever seen. The cage had years of rust and inches of poop all over it. The 2 amazons stood on a perch made from metal that looked something like a curtain rod. They had survived on a diet of sunflower seeds and lettuce for years. They didn’t even have a water bowl. The cage was tied shut with metal clips making it impossible to get into. They were thrown sunflower seeds on the floor of their cage which was covered in poop. They had never had a shower and were very dusty. As soon as I got close they were launching at me. Trying to claw me, bite me, whatever they could do to keep me away.

They were angry and they had reason to be, humans had failed them and failed miserably. Despite them wanting to claw and chomp me I knew I had to have them. I wanted to show them what the good life looks like. I went home that night and prayed for them, prayed I could somehow make this work. I was quite unprepared at the moment with Christmas around the corner and an already full house. I decided to sleep on it and I’d make a decision come morning.

Morning came quickly and I woke up knowing we were going to save them. Today was the day their misery ended for good. We went back to the house and picked up the two parrots put them in our car and brought them home. Within 2 minutes of walking through the door my husband and I agreed the metal perch had to go, NOW! We have extra branches because our other birds love to chew and shred. So out with the old and in with the new. Both parrots had been standing for years on that metal perch and their feet and toe nails showed proof. The toes no longer were able to curl under they grew out, and the nails were so long and sharp they broke skin when they managed to claw me. Within minutes of putting their new perch in both were chewing like mad and beak grinding. This made me happy but the cage had to go.  Bird cages in Mexico in general are pretty awful. There isn’t really a standard here and most cages are round and small. To get the big nice king size cages you have to leave state and drive a good 5 hours to the capital and pay through the roof. We were unable to do this at this time for numerous reasons. Jobs, kids, finances, etc. Our best temporary solution was to have a cage made by a welder. So that’s what we did. Despite the cage being small and filthy they were very cage protective and apprehensive to change. Luckily they seemed to prefer a male figure over a woman and took a strong liking to my husband. With patience and quite a few sunflower seeds we were able to safely get them into their new enclosure.

Once in there new enclosure Gypsy was climbing everywhere hanging off ropes and chewing pinecones. She was in birdy paradise in her eyes. Tequila was a different situation she stayed at the bottom unsure what to do. Overwhelmed maybe by all the space, apprehensive to change its hard to know what she was feeling. She stayed down there for a good 4 hours just staring at everything before finally making the climb to the top to be with her sister. Gypsy is the bolder of the two. She is all for changes. She plays all day and chews constantly on everything. She eats all the fresh veggies and fruit and rice I offer and explores all day long. Tequila is the total opposite. She often sits on the same perch all day and is less excited about my raw whole food diet.  But Tequila has one love, my husband. She took to him immediately whistling at him as soon as he enters the room. She dances for him, allows scritches and talks up a storm. In the morning as soon as she hears him moving around upstairs she starts in with her microwave sounds and whistles. She adores him and it’s obvious. She is aggressive towards women for whatever reason and my fingers bare proof to that. She’s gotten me pretty good. After 24 hours of being in there new enclosure we decided to take them outside for some good old vitamin D and a misting. Something they had NEVER had. As usual Gypsy was thrilled, opening her wings, lifting up her butt. Tequila wasn’t as excited for this but by the end was fluffing up and just as drenched as Gypsy. Seeing them so happy was very rewarding. It assured me I had made the right decision even if I wasn’t necessarily prepared or expecting it. 

Like so many I was excited for our new adventure, Marley has sisters and our flock was growing. I took to the internet to express my joy and was confronted by something I wasn’t expecting. The internet troll. We’re all familiar with them. The know it all, I’m better than you, arrogant ones who never comment anything useful. Just chime in their 2 cents without even taking time to fully understand the situation. For me it’s always the same. The cages aren’t big enough. Why don’t I feed pellets? If you don’t have an avian vet you shouldn’t rescue.

I’d like to address these issues formally. Give a small bit of insight into what it’s like living in small foreign 3rd world countries. Not just Mexico where I reside but Africa, India, South America. We all have a lot of the same issues. People think you can just jump on Google and Google up Avian vets in Mexico, or Africa or India. Order pellets and have them delivered to your doorstep. Go to the local pet store and pick up a cage and toys. That just simply isn’t the case.  In 3rd world countries you can buy a degree to be a Veterinarian without ever stepping foot in school.  

There are numerous scams where they give your pets water shots and not even real medicine. It’s extremely hard to find a legitimate reputable Animal Vet let alone Avian. Would I want to risk leaving my fids with some self-proclaimed vet? Absolutely not. Do I take to the internet for help? Yes I do and I have no shame in that. I do the best I can do in my situation, and I’m sure Marley would agree. Is having an avian vet a luxury? Absolutely it is. Should I not rescue parrots in need because I don’t have a vet down the street? Should I have left Tequila and Gypsy in that death trap to die? There are many parrots in situations like this all over the world. Should they be left to die because they were born somewhere without proper Avian vet care? Did they ask for this life? No, they didn’t. I will not let people bully me into thinking I am inadequate to care for my birds because I don’t have access to vets, or fancy cages. Whether I have access to this or not doesn’t change the fact there are parrots who need to be rescued. For many it can’t get worse than what they’re already living. 

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