ShareThis Page
Letters to the Editor

Parrots make bad pets

| Thursday, June 16, 2005

I must express concern with the main message 7-year-old Jonathan Kowalkowski seems to have absorbed while attending "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" at the National Aviary with his grandparents ( "Colorful cast wings its way to Aviary," June 9 and TribLIVE.com).

While his grandmother mentioned learning about the natural habitats, diets and behaviors of the birds featured in the show, young Jonathan was left convinced that parrots make great "pets."

On behalf of the parrot rescue and adoption professionals in the U.S. and the growing number of displaced birds in their care, your readers need to know that in spite of their charming behaviors in bird shows, parrots are wild animals and not well-suited for life in captivity -- especially in homes with small children like Jonathan.

They are expensive to feed, house and vet. Parrots are noisy, messy, destructive, highly intelligent, socially demanding, potentially dangerous and live much longer than dogs and cats. Thousands lose their homes each year because their needs conflict so much with those of humans.

I hope the National Aviary and Natural Encounters Inc. will develop their program more fully to encourage young and old alike to enjoy and preserve birds in their natural habitats rather than inspiring visitors to bring one home.

Krista Menzel
St. Paul, Minn.

The writer is a board member of the Avian Welfare Coalition ( avianwelfare.org ).

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me