Singapore, 24 February 2023 – Parrot Society (Singapore) (PSS) is pleased to announce that a parrot that was being mistreated by a member of the public has been retrieved and is now in the care of an approved fosterer. The bird, a green cheeked conure (Pyrrhura molinae), was found being fed human snacks and saliva, and having its beak flicked, all of which are inappropriate and abusive ways of treating a bird.
PSS received an alert on 19 February 2023 about the mistreatment of the bird and immediately took action by appealing to the public for information about the woman. With the help of the PSS committee and members of the parrot community, the bird was secured within the same day and is now receiving appropriate care and veterinary attention.
PSS would like to use this opportunity to remind the public that parrots are sensitive animals and should not be given human snacks, especially those high in fat, salt, sugar, preservatives and unsafe additives for birds such as xylitol. Instead, appropriate formulated pellets, seed mixes, fresh vegetables and fruits should be provided. If the bird shows any signs of illness, it should be taken to the vet immediately.
Parrots are very different from mammals physiologically. Humans and other mammals carry a certain type of bacteria (gram-negative bacteria: Pasteurella multocida) in body fluids such as saliva, and have immune systems that can battle such bacteria if it enters our bodies. However, parrots lack the defenses to handle such bacteria, making them vulnerable to infections and illnesses caused by gram-negative bacteria.
This is why parrots are at risk of peracute Pasteurella and other bacterial infections from saliva of mammals, and even small scratches caused by the claws of cats and dogs, which are often coated with such bacteria.
Furthermore, PSS urges the public to be vigilant and to help reunite lost parrots with their owners. Most parrot species are not native to Singapore, and if a lost parrot is found, it is likely that it is a lost pet. The bird should be secured and lost/found information should be published to facilitate finding the owner of the parrot. Examples of Facebook groups on which the lost/found information can be posted include Lost & Found Birds SG and B.A.R. (Bird Alert & Rescue) Singapore.
We would also like to highlight that actions that can cause pain, such as flicking the beak, should never be done as this is not only cruel but can also cause trauma to the bird.
PSS is currently liaising with SPCA and NParks on this case. We would like to thank the public for their assistance in this matter and for their continued support in promoting the welfare of parrots in Singapore.