LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, FL — A treasured and endangered bird was killed by the chaos and noise of new year’s guns and fireworks.
That’s the word from conservationists who are calling for a stop to unlawful holiday celebrations.
It’s no party for the Red-browed Amazon parrots who live at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Loxahatchee Groves.
“We had some unbelievable explosions out here,” said Dr. Paul Reillo of the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation. “It sounded like TNT going off, it might have been. There were certainly many gunshots and lots of fireworks. I think that induced a panic in this one animal and he thrashed himself to death.”
Dr. Reillo says the bird was ready to mate in a private cage, about one-thousand feet from the nearest neighbor.
“It’s a parrot that been teetering on brink of extinction for a long time,” said Dr. Reillo. “Our efforts include captive breeding and genetic management of the species and ultimately, restoring the species in the wild.”
The facility does have bunkers to store the birds during dangerous times, but moving the delicate creatures here can also be very risky.
“Just handling them is a very risky procedure and we avoid that if at all possible,” said Dr. Reillo.
This is the only breeding center for the Red-browed Amazon in the Western Hemisphere.
Officials here are now pleading with folks to be more considerate.
They say celebrations have gotten louder in recent years.
“Animals everywhere suffer as a consequence of this thoughtless behavior,” said Dr. Reillo.
Conservationists want tougher regulations on fireworks at the point of sale.
They say stopping them afterward is often too late.