On Christmas Eve 2010, 730 wild-caught African grey parrots died on a commercial flight between Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa. Captured in nets and stuffed into tiny crates, the terrified birds were deprived of food and water and forced to stand in their own waste. The parrots were part of an order of 1,650 adult African grey parrots caught in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be sold to South African breeders.
South Africa has become an important hub for the international trade in wild-caught birds. Traders are making huge profits and taking advantage of government officials in unstable countries such as the DRC. Parrots caught in the wild and imported to South Africa (and subsequently exported to other countries) are frequently used as breeders in bird mills; some are exported from South Africa to the Far and Middle East as “pets.” The initial shock of losing their freedom and being confined to a cage can kill 10 to 20 percent of wild-caught birds. Of those who survive capture, many will die of starvation, dehydration, suffocation or disease before reaching their final destination. Those who survive are doomed to a life deprived of flight and freedom.
The trade in these beautiful, intelligent wild parrots must stop! The world must learn that these parrots are more beautiful in the wild.
Please sign our petition to the South African government to immediately halt all future DRC exports of wild-caught African grey parrots and then look at ways of ending all South African trade of wild-caught birds and animals.