How One Californian Wildfire Devastated This Families Parrot

Annette D. relates:

 

My Amazon Parrot was killed by fire toxins.

 

Hi, I’m writing in because I’m just shattered in every way.

 

I live in Sonoma Co, CA, home of Wildfires. 

 

In 2017, we got hit with the first ‘recognized’ Firestorm. 

 

The Tubbs Fire. 

 

It jumped the freeway and came right into my city. 

 

There were NO warnings. 

 

My cats awoke me at 1 AM.

 

Looked out the upstairs window, and saw flames 50′ high, just blocks away. 

 

I went into autopilot; got the crates, told the cats you WILL comply, they didn’t hesitate. 

 

The house was already filled with toxic smoke.

 

My beautiful Lilac Crown, Hermione, 27 years old, was downstairs where the windows weren’t open, but the living room was filled with smoke as well.

 

I wasn’t able to get all of the pets into my car (I’ve since bought a larger car!!) so had to wait for my niece to come and rescue us. 

 

On the way to my friend’s house, she told me her own home had burned to the ground, she was able to get her 2 cats out just in time.

 

It took us about 6 hours to get across town, about 20 miles. 

 

NO ONE had any warning, the roads were jammed, the freeway closed because the fire was on it! 

 

We got dropped at my friend’s. 

 

The cats, who are all rescues, old and disabled, had fouled their cages…they were terrified. 

 

I got each one cleaned and replaced their bedding.

 

Hermione, the parrot, showed no sign of issues except she was stressed.

 

 

We got the warning to then flee where we were…the smoke was everywhere, no one could breathe, it was horrible for the pets. 

 

Hermione was showing distress.

 

We left, got the cats to their vet, then Hermione and I went to my nephews, out of the fire zone, to figure it out.

 

Incoming Category 2 Hurricane & You’re Chasing a Bird Under Furniture

 

By then it was too late, Hermione was shaking uncontrollably.

 

I called the vet, this was about 8 AM, and the tech said her core temp had dropped, to get heat on her NOW. 

 

The next-door neighbor had a portable heater…Hermione never left it.

 

Both she and her temp settled down within 1/2 hour. 

 

We were there, her in front of the heater, for 11 days.

 

We went straight to the vet. 

 

Hermione began a rapid decline; from a perfectly happy, healthy parrot to…a wreck within 3 years. 

 

She passed in July 2020. 

It took a brutal 3 years. 

She acquired an autoimmune disorder that took her feathers, ruined her skin with sores, made her feet arthritic, peeling and painful, and towards the end, took all her feathers and she developed horrid and painful skin disease…legs, face, head, beak, eyes. 

 

Her wonderful vet, Steven Khrome in Santa Rosa, and I knew she was floundering…but we just didn’t KNOW when she would break.

 

I kept hospice for her here, hand feeding, rubbing soothing medications into her feet, and beak, but she began to decline really fast.

 

In July, I got a ‘wrong’ evacuation notice.

 

Hermione was so fragile, but Dr. Steve and his staff loved her, she them, they had a hospice set up just for her at the clinic. 

 

I dropped her off, my precious girl…2 days later, she was dead. 

 

Everyone needs to understand how fragile parrots really are.

 

They simply cannot withstand toxic air, inside the home or out. 

 

If you live in a fire zone?

 

It’s so awful for them. 

 

Since that first Wildfire in 2017? Sonoma Co has seen 6-7, and with those, Dr. Steve has now had a number of parrots, and smaller birds, come in with disturbing pathologies, all toxin-based. 

 

This is a new issue for vets, but one parrot owners and their vets need to be aware of. Me?

 

Finding evacuation cages here

 

My entire life is broken.

 

Hermione has been my ‘significant other’ for 30 years and now…she’s gone. 

 

Yet she’s everywhere. I miss her…tremendously. I keep reading your newsletter because…it’s part of my life with Hermione. 

 

It’s meant so much to us. Thank you so so much.

 

Annette…and Hermione

 

Annette,

Our hearts and prayers are with you.

 

We submit your content with no comment as it demands none other than Mother Nature is and always will be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Stay safe.

Best

MitchR

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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