Visitors to the 2016 Super Pet Expo in Edison had a chance to “Walk Through the Rainforest” at the Lonely Grey Rescue booth. What they got was a firsthand learning experience about many different exotic birds and a unique photo opportunity to share with friends and family.
Dan Radzik, founder of Lonely Grey Rescue, said the name was really a play on words since not all the birds on display were actually from the Rainforest. However, they did want to showcase some species that have never been seen before or are not the norm for everyone to see. At the same time, they wanted to pair that with an educational side by explaining proper care for the birds including proper diet and caging for the different species that they have. In addition, visitors were offered a little bit of interaction with the birds where they could actually hold some of the birds and have photos taken.
“After dogs and cats, these exotic birds are now becoming the third most popular companion pet,” said Radzik. “The problem we are starting to see now is that the birds don’t have the proper care, and the owners don’t have the proper education for caring for them. It’s a learning process for all of us because the birds are still only one or two generations removed from the wild. We are hoping by learning together that we can stop the problem that it has already become.”
Radzik explained that half the surrenders that they get are from folks who say they did not know what they were getting into when they brought home the bird. To make matters worse, Radzik said the life spans of the birds are very long, so it’s different from what folks are used to with a dog or cat.
“There is a waiting list to get into existing rescues – they are simply full and sometimes there is nowhere for these birds to go. The problem is growing,” said Radzik. “In my first year with the rescue we did ten intakes. Last year we did over 400 intakes. It’s growing every year exponentially.”
Lonely Grey Rescue has several facilities that they work with and work out of in three different states, and they also have a quarantine facility. They are largely privately funded, with some corporate sponsors and angel donors. The rescue may ask for direct donations to help birds that are special needs cases. Radzik added that many folks don’t even know that exotic bird rescues exist, so they are not aware that they can adopt rather than purchase. Visit Lonely Grey Rescue online to learn more.
Read more here from the New Jersey Animal Rescue Examiner.