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Dear Parrots magazine,

Not Impressed!

Regarding your letter in last months magazine entitled ‘PARROT SANCTUARY’ by Trevor Hillings, N Yorkshire.

This summer in August 2009, we took the kids to this exact sanctuary, after doing a lot of browsing on the Internet of places to go, and being parrot lovers we just had to go. Their website is impressive, but unfortunately I have to agree with Mr Hillings, the website is about the only thing that is impressive. It was not what we expected at all, apart from being in the middle of nowhere yet having the name ‘The National Parrot Sanctuary’. It was not quite what we had expected, their shop was selling tat for kids, nothing educational relating to parrots was being sold apart from maybe a book or two, if you were lucky, and their sanctuary video. I wish I had funding for something like this in this area, it would be the best parrot sanctuary around, people would want to return again and again.

Personally, I do not really want to go back there again as it was very expensive for what they offer. One of the staff, who came over to talk to us, asked what sort of a bird we had and when I said Quaker Parrot, there was a pause and silence came over her, so I reinforced this with ‘also known as a monk parrot’, but still nothing but a blank stare. Yet she was standing in an area where there were five or six of them flying around. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not know all the parrots that are out there, in fact I probably know very few of them, I just have a love for them - who can’t fall in love with them.

The place seemed crammed, so many birds in aviaries that were not very big and there were these dogs barking loudly. I think they were Rotweilers that were next door, only a metre or two away from the birds’ aviaries, which could not be doing much for the poor birds’ nerves.

I know they are probably doing the best with what they have, maybe there need to be more charities for parrots, or maybe it needs to be in a more accessible place. I know they are a sanctuary and they take in these birds that are strays and have nowhere else to go, and I know they need to get their money from somewhere. But they are situated in an area that is not very easily accessible, maybe better PR and positioning would help along with a good charitable donation to make it all come together. It is hard to find fault in people who are at least doing something, but I know that my partner, the kids and myself will not be looking at going there again, which is a shame as we love these creatures, but I felt more sorry for them than in awe 
of them.

I think if I ever had the money, I would set up a proper parrot sanctuary, a haven of beauty for them. They give us so much pleasure to look at and admire, the least we could do is try and give it back to them, I think the South Africans have done this wonderfully with their newly built centre as mentioned in an article in this magazine two months ago. Let’s see something like that happening here in the good old UK.

Belinda Pearce, Cambridgeshire




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