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News : New Providence Last Updated: Apr 11, 2018 - 1:08:51 AM

Endangered Bahama parrot rescued after entering home through chimney
By Tishka Scott
Apr 10, 2018 - 11:26:11 PM

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Nassau, Bahamas - Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre's animal care team responded to a call on Sunday morning (April 8) that an endangered Bahama parrot was trapped inside a home on Highland Terrace in northwestern New Providence. Upon arrival at the residence, Ardastra Gardens’ senior zookeeper, Hendrew Haley, was able to quickly contain the parrot that had entered the residence through the chimney.

Ardastra’s animal curator, Bonnie Young, observed that debris was still falling into the fireplace and further inspection revealed a second parrot about two-thirds of the way up the chimney struggling to climb out. Ms. Young and Mr. Haley climbed onto the two-story roof to mount a rescue attempt from above. The parrot was eventually lowered through the chimney into the house and was placed into a travel carrier with the other bird. After confirming that all animals had been removed from the chimney, both parrots were transported to Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre for a health assessment.

Zoo veterinarian, Winston P. Davis, DVM of All Creatures Animal Hospital performed the exams and administered deworming medication while Ms. Young collected morphological data for the Bahamas National Trust. Dr. Davis pronounced both birds to be free of injury and in excellent health. It is suspected that these birds are a male and female pair looking for a place to build a nest.

The Bahama parrot can only be found in the wild on the islands of Inagua and Abaco and in very small numbers on New Providence. The New Providence parrots are suspected to be descendants of the Abaco flock which nest in rocky holes in the ground rather than in trees like the Inagua parrots. The urban landscape of New Providence provides few, if any, safe sites to nest on the ground. Residents of New Providence can assist these native parrots by putting nest boxes in their yard, which will provide the parrots with safe nesting locations and by keeping pets inside when they cannot be supervised.

Ardastra's staff released the parrots back into the wild at 3 p.m. on Monday (April 9) from the corner of Highland Terrace and Montague Ave. After a short look around, both parrots took to the sky. A video of the release can be viewed on the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre Facebook page. Residents can help scientists monitor the native Bahama parrot flock by posting any sightings in the Bahama Parrots of Nassau Locator Facebook group.

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