I know this is a dog forum but I just have to get this off my chest and I believe you guys are (generally) pro animal welfare. Hopefully once I get this done I can stop feeling angry and upset and concentrate on this bird without the emotion that may cloud my judgement as I want to give this guy the best possible care. He is more than entitled to it. I ABSOLUTELY HATE SOME PEOPLE.
Yesterday I was called to a rescue. I should have known it would be a difficult one when I get a call and the person on the other end of the line says "Hello, your best friend here (ha ha)" ... for the record she isn't my best friend but is a work colleague who must really hate me as the jobs she has been sending my way lately are downright awful!!!!
Get to the home of a very elderly couple who, amongst other things, have a lorikeet in a small cage. The old couple claim to have only had the bird for a week and were encouraged by a friend to get the bird help. They didn't have the money to get vet treatment.
Background is: lorikeet has had 4 previous owners and apparently spent a great deal of time in a dark garage and had been traumatised by a 4 year old. The old couple want him back (over my f....n dead body). They are in their 90's and he has emphysema - if the bird survives he will outlive them.
This bird has no flight feathers on his wings or tail and the rest are sparse and discoloured (probably due to poor nutrition), his wings look like someone has gone to the fridge section of a supermarket, bought some plucked chicken wings and superglued them onto the bird, he can't perch and he cannot climb (no obvious physical reason), he stands as erect as a penguin and grips the cage bars with his beak (possibly in an attempt to stop himself being removed from his cage), he squashes himself up into the corner of the cage standing in this erect manner, he has inflicted self harm by plucking his own feathers out, he is bleeding from multiple grazes and sores on his body. His body is the shape of the figure 8 making me think someone has fed him seed and he has a belly full of worms. His poo looked like scrambed eggs. Lorikeet poo usually shoots out of them like a supersoaker - they are not called Squirty for no reason.
And, if that is not bad enough this poor little bloke absolutely screams when he sees a human - it is not a squawk, or a tweet, it is a SCREAM. He had no perches in his cage (as he can't perch) and was on a diet of dry baby food! He was covered in mites and I have never, ever seen an animal as terrified in my life. The whole situation was really awful - I could actually taste vomit in the back of my throat. I couldn't even talk or thread a sentence together. I have seen many terrible things but just when you think you can deal with anything something will bring you unstuck.
Changing his food and cleaning his cage today was traumatic for both of us.
He has now been treated for mites and wormed, he has no idea of what greenery is and is still screaming when I go near him. His wounds are bleeding ever and this might be exacerbated from the aggravation of the mite spray. This little guy is so traumatised that I fed a piece of pear through the bars for him to eat. He went absolutely ballistic for half an hour, then he attacked it. You could then see his little face change as he realised it didn't half taste too bad. Then there was silence as he ate it. I am watching all this behind a screen where he can't quite see me as my presence is too disturbing for him to deal with. Occasionally the peace and quite of the house is shattered by this little bird crying his lungs out. You can tell he is screaming for help. I have to turn on the kitchen tap to drown out the sound. His distress is a human's fault.
The noise coming from this animal is enough to make the five dogs in my house (my two, three in care) stop what they are doing and freeze. There is no tail wagging, no barking - it is like someone has hit a pause button. Really weird.
I have spent half the day today and yesterday on the phone trying to determine what is best for this little lorikeet - I have consulted every vet, bird specialist and avian biologist I can. Lucky they were all happy to give me as much of their time as I and the little bird needed. Everyone put their hand up to see him when I think he is ready or if an emergency arises.
I originally did not even take him out of the rescue basket as I was expecting he would need to be euthanised. I was such a coward I made my Co-ordinator decide the birds fate. I am going to try and rehabilitate this little guy based on professional advice that we may just be able to make a positive difference to his life. I am so glad as I think he deserves a chance after being so badly treated by humans. My initial concern was whether it was actually cruel to subject him to our world when he was so traumatised and scarred of humans and could he actually be successfully rehabilitated. I didn't want to subject him to any more injustice and trauma.
Whilst he continues to make progress there is hope. Today - eating pear was progress.
On typing that sentence I think I will actually call him HOPE.
Please send prayers for this little guy and all other animals who are suffering at our hands. Aetheists - just send money (just joking - must be getting my awful mojo back!)
Thank you for listening to my ranting and raving (again).