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Three happy parrots released at the Botanic Park

Community 07 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Another happy parrot released into the wild at the Botanic Park Children’s Garden

Children helped release the parrots

Waiting for the parrot release at the Botanic Park

Dr. Navi released one of the parrots that had been raised at the Turtle Centre

By Christopher Tobutt

The Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre released three happy parrots in the Botanic Park Children’s Garden. Not everybody knows that the Cayman Turtle Centre has been breeding Cayman Parrots ever since 2008, when it began to take care of injured parrots and they started breeding in captivity. Since then they have raised many little pink featherless parrot-chicks from eggs to adulthood, so it was no surprise that, in 2021 when one of the trees with a parrot’s nest in it fell over at the Dart Nursery, and three tiny chicks were found, the Department of the Environment called on the Turtle Centre’s Geddes Hislop and Veterinarian Dr. Navi to help.

Telling their story, Dr. Navi said: “These parrots were found at the Dart plant nursery on a Friday evening at 6pm and the Department of Environment called us out during that time. When we got there we realized that these guys were very dehydrated and very weak so we immediately sprung into action and we decided to force feed them for that night.

 The next day we went back out, and in collaboration with the DOE and with Dart we tried to make an artificial nest up a tree, very close to where the tree was that fell with their original nest. Upon trying that for two days, we realized that the parents weren’t coming back for these chicks, so we decided that they would need to be hand raised. We hand raised them from little chicks which had no feathers and their eyes weren’t even open, to now, where they have all their feathers and they are fully grown. They have been transitioned from a pelleted formula diet to actually eating wild food and learning to forage on their own. We’re hoping that, being released in the Botanic Park and hearing other parrots around, and seeing their natural food in the wild they’ll have a better chance of surviving out here.

Curator of Terrestrial Exhibits Geddes Hislop explained why Cayman’s two national birds, the Grand Cayman Parrot and the Cayman Brac Parrot were in danger: “They’re losing habitat, Poaching is an issue  and getting hit by cars so that all of their problems have something to do with people,”

Since 2008 we’ve been breeding parrots and releasing them into the wild. Its been successful and we’ve learned a lot about the birds, and have partners and friends at the DOE and the parrot sanctuary. They need somewhere to live and the botanic park is a perfect place, because its sixty acres of protected beauty.

Manager of the Botanic Park John Lawrus said, “I’d just like to thank the Turtle Centre, and the partners that are involved in the release today. And welcome everyone to the children’s garden located in the botanic park.”

It was time for the release, and some of the children came to help open the cage doors and set the Parrots free. One by one the doors were opened, and the parrots flew away into the sky to start their new life in the wild.

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