George The Amazon Parrot Escapes The Pet StoreInspiring Pet Tails 5 min read
Many folks consider bringing a parrot into their life for several different reasons. Parrots are funny, intelligent, and curious companions, but it’s important to remember that they are not domesticated animals like cats and dogs. There are many wild-caught species being brought into the trade and sadly, parrots are not made for domesticity!
Their urges are primal and their communication, although very intelligent, is not for our entertainment. Yes, they talk to us in our language, but this is because they have not been allowed the opportunity to communicate with others of their own species in their natural environment. Even those who are captive bred and raised can not be provided the life they desire and deserve. They are not made to be captive animals living life in a cage. Some folks may not be aware of the harm that captivity can do to an intelligent species such as the parrot. The mental toll it takes on these feathered friends can be very sad, dangerous, and in many cases; fatal.
And so, this starts the tale of how our resident Pet Expert Anna helped George the Amazon parrot escape the pet store.
How George And Anna Found Each Other
Anna started working in a small pet store in Niagara Falls, Canada where she met George. He was cordoned off with tape and signs stating, “stay away, I bite”. Not exactly a great sales pitch for a bird selling for $2000! No one that worked there for the 3 years since he had hatched was able to handle him. His cage was dirty from years of neglect because he would attack anyone that came near the cage. His temper was hot from living in a pet store where he only had “company” during business hours, and lights on 24/7. He literally hadn’t had a proper sleep in years.
As the “new kid” in the store, Anna was given the duty of feeding George and getting him into his cage each evening when closing up the store. After several months of being the only person to do this, she was braver and George would play with her hair while she would get his dishes. She used her hair to distract him every night until one evening, he climbed onto her shoulder and laughed happily. Anna had a minor anxiety attack thinking of all the damage that his powerful little beak could do to her face given all the stories and scars surrounding this little guy.
As the months rolled by, he was now spending the majority of Anna’s shifts on her shoulder. This soon evolved into George muttering “Mama’s Boy” whenever Anna would come to work and go near his cage. There was no way this parrot was going to sell and everyone working at the store knew it. Anna decided that she wanted to spring him from the life he was living, so she paid him off in full! That summer, the pair took a road trip across the country to Anna’s hometown in Vancouver, Canada, where George has now resided with her for the past 17 years. He’s 100% convinced that Anna is his mate (they mate for life with their chosen partner) and he is bonded to her like no other.
A New Life Together
They certainly have had their differences of opinions and are both are quite willing to express them whenever they feel like it. Picture it, a 40+-year-old woman arguing with a 20-year-old bird! For example, when George goes through his “spring fun time”, he tries to build Anna nests around their apartment. He’s been very creative, even chewing up a plunger to build a nest under the toilet. He even went so far as to chew up the cat litter mat and built a nest within the litter box!
He’s got an attitude that fills the house, and in a house that has a pack of 3 large/giant breed dogs, and 2 cats, that is no small feat! It has taken training, patience, consistency, and lots of love to ensure the safety and happiness of all Anna’s pets. The help of NHV Matricalm for Birds is a major player in keeping the peace during Spring. It was never easy, but all the work has been worth it. George has his cage as a space to call his own, but he has free range to roam the entire apartment even when no one is home. He’s well behaved and isn’t destructive…outside of his cute little nest attempts.
George And His Antics
George’s personality gives him a wonderful sense of humor. He will pick up on people’s feelings – especially folks may be afraid of birds – and play on those fears by purposely attempting to freak them out. The way he laughs while he is playing a prank on someone to scare them is often the most terrifying part.
House-sitters are more intimidated by George than the dogs! He plays with the cats, spars with the dogs, and often times will preen the dogs and the cats while they are sleeping. For a parrot with his big attitude and all of his antics, he’s a very well behaved boy. There are many parrots that spend their days screaming at 120 decibels, ripping their feathers out, self-harming, and destroying things.
He’s been out of his pet store prison now for more than 17 years, and has had some adventures! George has accidentally taken flight a few times, and flown out the window.
The first time, he was found only because the local crows were not happy with him sitting in their tree. Fifteen crows screaming at him is what led Anna to his location, only to find her little, green man terrified saying, “Hi Buddy, hey buddy how’s it goin?” to the flock of unhappy crows.
Another day trip took him to the penthouse of a local hotel downtown where a guest reported, “there is a green bird occupying my room and saying, ‘Hi Buddy'”.
George And His Forever Home
He’s had some great adventures for an Amazon species that was hatched in Niagara Falls, Canada, and traveled by car across the country. Thanks to Anna, he has had a great life here in Canada. That said, his best life would be in the Amazon rain forest where he could be with his own species and find a mate that he could build a real nest for. Given his situation, he cannot be in the Amazon, so George will be here with Anna and getting up to his usual antics of antagonizing people’s fears of birds and chasing the cats.
Published: August 27, 2020