I recall when the movie Finding Nemo came out. Parents flocked to pet stores buying clownfish. As a result, the number of clownfish fell. These saltwater fish were brought home and put in fishbowls filled with tap water.
We haven’t had the inquiries I expected with the release of the movie RIO a story about a parrot. And I’m glad. Not that publicity is unwelcome but far too often we see pets being introduced to children and proper care is not given resulting in sickness and death.
I hope the sellers of birds are sensitive to this issue and qualify their prospective customers making sure they have the right equipment and food should their customers decide to acquire a bird. As we have seen in some recent posts on Facebook, our fans have been showing us cockatiels that are 25 years old.
The future is hard to predict but that means an eight-year-old who gets a cockatiel as a gift could enter college with a healthy pet bird.
Contrary to popular thought, I heard an anecdote from Veterinarian Karen Becker about a parakeet she did a patient intake on. The woman who brought the bird was in her eighties.
When Dr. Becker asked the age of the keet, the woman promptly replied 26 years old.
A bit astonished Dr. Becker asked if she had any proof. The woman pulled a Woolworth’s (ask your parent’s kids) receipt dated 26 years earlier. She had paid $5.00 for the bird. (I recently got my niece Ruby a Keet and paid $16 at a Chicago pet shop).
As a side note when asked by Dr. Becker what she attributed the birds longevity to, the woman responded that she and the bird shared a cup of de-caf green tea every morning for the past 26 years.
So at the end of the day, if your child asks for a pet bird – please for the sake of the birds, be ready for a lifelong commitment.
Written by Catherine Tobsing
Approved by Mitch Rezman