32 parrots returned to Uwec
Posted Monday, March 11 2013 at 02:00
At least 32 African grey parrots said to have been seized in eastern Europe in a botched pet trade deal, were returned to a natural habitat in Uganda at the weekend.
The endangered bird species is regarded by experts as one of the most intelligent birds in the world. Authorities at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (Uwec) were delighted to receive the parrots, which originally numbered 108, many of them having succumbed to bad weather and poor packaging.
The birds are said to have been seized at Sofia Airport in Bulgaria from Lebanon en route to a consignee in Serbia. “This is the first time African Grey Parrots confiscated outside Africa are returned to one of their range countries for rehabilitation,” the Uwec executive director, Mr James Musinguzi, said.
Mr Musinguzi said following the seizure, Sofia Zoo in Bulgaria had been assigned temporary custody of the birds before a judge’s decision on their suitable destination.
He added that having successfully rehabilitated and released 204 African Grey Parrots confiscated at the Ugandan border in January 2011, UWEC was contacted to receive the birds by the World Parrot Trust, a body spearheading the translocation.
He said after the survey, Ngamba Island, home to various wild parrots, was found to be a suitable habitat.“All the birds are in good health save for one that had shade off its feathers -a sign of malnutrition,” said Mr Musinguzi. “We have kept them in a quarantine aviary for monitoring and inspection for 30 days and will release them after.”