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January 27, 2009

African Greys Stolen in Cameroon

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MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Urgent Appeal Launched to Aid Confiscated Parrots
Hayle, Cornwall, UK
January 2, 2008
Cornwall-based World Parrot Trust has launched an urgent appeal to aid hundreds of African Grey parrots (Psittacus
erithacus) recently confiscated by wildlife authorities in two high profile raids in Cameroon. Funds raised through this
appeal will be used for temporary housing, rehabilitation eventual re-release of 400+ parrots back to the wild.
Illegal shipments bound for Mexico and Middle East
Two separate groups of parrots were intercepted in Cameroon by Last Great Ape Organization’s (LAGA) wildlife
agents and local wildlife officials. Each group of 500-700 individuals was bound for Mexico and parts of the Middle
East. Had officials not recovered these parrots their futures would have been grim. One half of all smuggled wild
birds do not survive all stages of their capture, handling, transport and quarantine to reach their final destination.
With African Grey parrots the mortality rate can often be higher due to the species’ high strung and sensitive nature.
The African Grey Parrot has been one of the most heavily traded bird species on the international market. From
1994-2003, 359,000 individuals were exported from various parts of Africa. The Grey Parrot’s popularity as a pet is
unparalleled due to its longevity in captivity and its ability to mimic human and other sounds. Demand for this bird
has always been high in North America and Europe, and is increasing in China. (Source: BirdLife International)
A temporary home and eventually...freedom
The confiscated parrots now rest in relative quiet at the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC), the hub of a dedicated group
of rescuers nestled at the foot of Mount Cameroon. The process of capturing, smuggling, and transport has left
many of the parrots stressed and vulnerable to illness. Of the 1220 birds initially received, 681 were immediately
released, and more than 100 birds perished. A group of 417 birds remain at the center due to illness, emaciation and
feathers damaged by glue trapping. For their rehabilitation and eventual release these parrots require food, shelter,
medical attention and extra staff for their care. LWC has enlisted the help of The World Parrot Trust (WPT) to
provide support.
US$2,000 in emergency funding sent - more urgently needed
The World Parrot Trust has sent US$2000.00 in emergency funding. Due to the urgency of the situation and the
large number of parrots involved these funds have already been spent. More funding is required to provide ongoing
care for this convalescing group of parrots, now and for up to 9 more months.
Urgent Appeal off to strong start
In the first days of the appeal, donors from around the world rallied strongly to show their support. “We’ve had
donations from the UK, Europe, Australia, the US and a number of other countries,” stated Alison Hales, Chairman
of the World Parrot Trust. “We’re hopeful for a continued strong response.”
Interested supporters are urged to visit the Trust’s website at www.parrots.org/appeal or email
admin@worldparrottrust.org to learn how they can help or view updates from the project.

Posted by sue at January 27, 2009 04:14 PM

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