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Dear Parrots magazine,

Electrifying fright

With birds often flying free in our houses, we must be aware of the many hazards that face them. I always thought I was careful with my Senegal, Charlie, when it came to safety, but to my horror, I was confronted with stark reality. One of the most potential dangers are electric cables and I should know even better, as my brother is a qualified electrician.

It was one day when my brother had called around that we needed to pop out to our local corner shop. It did go through my mind to shut Charlie up in his cage, but thought we would only be out for five to ten minutes, so wasn’t too concerned. However, when we came back, I was mortified as I could see that Charlie had been down and chewed through the cable of a trailing socket in our lounge, exposing bare wires, and it was live. Talk about heart attack! But what I thought was amazing, was that he had clearly chewed around the live wire and had not been affected in any way. It would seem his beak acted as a good insulator, which was the theory my brother put forward, and which had protected the bird. I have heard of similar stories from other people where their birds had chewed through mains cables without any ill effect.

Marjorie Tolson, by email



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