African grey parrots, the illegal trade continues

Yesterday more then 1000 African grey parrots were confiscated at Douala Airport and brought to the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon. Again! We have not even released all the birds from the last seized parrot shipment, but the illegal trade continues.

parrots in transport box

parrots in transport box

This is the largest group of parrots ever confiscated in Cameroon. Unfortunately, also the amount of dead birds was incredibly high. Upon arrival we found 47 dead parrots on the bottoms of the crates. Another 30 parrots did not survive the first day, as a result of thirst and stress. It makes you sick to see how the parrots are packed in the boxes, the weaker ones trampeled by the strongest.

dead parrots in box

dead parrots in box

The ones that are alive are now in the quarantine and in a week time we will select the ones that can be released. It seems like a fair amount of them have their feather intact, but that is really the only thing possitive I can think of.

It is remarkable that there are airlines who take these shipments on board. I will make sure I will never share a plane with illegally traded animals!

destination Kuwait and Bahrein

destination Kuwait and Bahrein

Dear readers, you have been very generous last time we received parrots. We need you now more then ever. Thanks so much!

Best wishes, Simone

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  1. Posted February 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much Limbe Wildlife Center for the amazing work you do to care for these poor birds and ensuring that as many as possible return to their wild homes

  2. Posted February 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Shit I cant believe this has happened again! Can you imagine how many crates are being shipped that are not confiscated! Damn I am so pissed off! Thank you though for doing all you do to help them get a second chance!

  3. Theresa
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    This is absolutely heartbreaking! Especially when I think of all the birds and other animals that don’t get confiscated. Thank you for taking care of them.

  4. Posted February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    You know, many blame the trappers however it is the ppl at the intended destination that are TRULY to blame … w/o the demand the trapping would stop. It is those w/ money that corrupt those in need and cause them to turn to illegal doings. Most trappers are extremely poor and use the pennies they get to feed their family for they can not get any gainful employment. What we as bird lovers need to do is to write the government of the intended destination countries and strongly point out our dismay. Also these airlines need to be written. Shame on them ALL!

  5. Anna
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink


    I’m a Swedish journalist currently filing a story on this and would love to speak to you at Limbe Wildlife Centre but i don’t find a phone number on your site. How do I get in touch with you, please? Thanks, Anna

  6. Rebecca, Australia
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Most “pet” birds in the middle east and asian countries are imprisoned for life in the smallest of cages. Stealing wild bird and throwing them in a jail cell like that is sick and perverted, what on earth pleasure can a person get from doing that??
    I can’t believe the airlines are letting other shipments get through, it would not be hard to detect! Obviously it’s corruption all the way through the process. The only victims are the birds, intended for a destination of sick sadistic people who enjoy making animals suffer.

  7. Emmy, Netherlands
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh no, this is disgusting to see. Their eyes full of anxiety. Unbelievable people can do that for money. It makes me very nausious to see the dead ones and the circumstances in which they where carried!
    Thank you so much for helping the surviving ones!!!

  8. Posted February 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much indeed, for speaking up!

    Thank you very much indeed, for “not” remaining silent! Because I do know for sure that silence Kills…… my country Folks have been there and done that!


    How can I help please?

    Let me know please ASAP!

    regards Marcus

  9. Posted February 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I am assumimg since this is all underground, I am hoping the crates the birds are in are clean and new. If not, I am hoping, the birds being released are being tested for diseases. It would certainly undo all the good, if the wild flocks become infected with PBFD or some other disease we don’t even know about.

  10. Rebecca, Australia
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I imagine testing hundreds of these birds for PBFD is near impossible with the resources available, I think priority should be to rehabilitate and get them released asap, PBFD can stay hidden without symptoms for years or even a life time, and/or can clear up on its own in some cases.

    Some birds that are tested positive can then test negative in 1-3 months because their immune system fights it off. So mass euthanasia of these birds because some might test “positive” to PBFD would be a tragedy.

  11. Gail
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    This makes me so Angry! I see these beautiful Parrots and I think of my two African Greys, happy, secure and spoiled and, most of all LOVED. These poor birds look so frightened it makes me sorrow for them.

  12. Meredith
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I want a list of the airlines who enable illegal wildlife trade, just so I can boycott them. I’d hate to be unknowingly supporting them.

  13. Rob
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Gail comments that she is so angy and her birds are loved and happy, but it is only because people such as her buy birds that the trade exist. How many died en route to provide the pet store that supplied them?

  14. Rebecca, Australia
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Rob makes an understanable point. But we can’t judge Gail or others, they may have rescued the birds rather than bought from breeders or importers. I think the entire captive bird industry should be banned, it is so cruel to keep birds in cages. I also have an intelligent bird, unfortunately who has to live his life in a cage, he was rescued after 10 years in a tiny cage. I give him the best life I can. But until people completely stop wanting to “own” birds, this problem will continue.

  15. Marion DE
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Vielen Dank für Ihre Arbeit!
    Alles Gute für Sie und die armen Papageien!
    Respekt und Hochachtung


  16. Posted February 19, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The only way to stop this is to ban the sales and keeping of birds. As long as there are buyers of birds, this will keep happening.
    Offering birds for sale creates demand, and there will always be people who buy birds, very often not knowing what they are supporting.
    We all love our Freedom, humans fought and killed each other for this valuable asset and still it seems that the same Freedom is not worth anything for birds and other captive held wild animals.

  17. Nina Taylor
    Posted February 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree, they should be a ban on wild parrots being sold anywhere, any country, any place. A NO wild caught parrots anywhere.
    Wild caught parrots do NOT make good pets anyway, and breeders should be ashamed of themselves, if they purchase any.
    I have two parrots, they are locally breed, but still, I think they should have NEVER been sold as pets … yes, I learnt the hard way, and I love my parrots so much, they have taught me that birds should stay in the wild and NOwhere else, flying free.

  18. anne marie
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    I agree Rob, I too own a Parrot but I did not buy her as a baby parrot and support the trade. I bought her because her owners abandoned her in a boarding facility when they divorced, and neither one would go pick her up and pay the fees upon learning she was still there 3 mos. later. So after 4 months I paid the boarding fees and bailed her out. She was 2 years old that was in 2003. I do still have her and she’s a great companion. But she could not survive in the wild she was hatched in Florida. I don’t believe in buying baby hatchlings.
    There are so many that need homes the rescue groups are full.

  19. Posted April 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hallo, it sure made us sick to see and read about this, And we made a link to your site. You’ve done the best you could. Poor animals! How is it now with the parrots who survived this? Can you tell us some more. We have a very talkative parrot and know a lott off people in our country who also like to know about this in our country.
    Thank you! Greetings, Geer and Greetje

  20. Robertina, Lithuania
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Do you know the traders company name?

  21. Kamila
    Posted June 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I did not see this come across the US news sites – it is horrible. I sent an email to the airlines shown above to urge them to stop engaging in illegal animal trading. Perhaps if enough people contact them, it might prevent another tragedy like this.

    Thanks to your organization on it’s great work.

  22. Posted January 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Which airlines transport these birds? Maybe we can send petitions or get some articles written.

    Poor babies – thanks for saving them.

  23. Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Outstanding quest there. What occurred after?
    Good luck!

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  2. By African grey parrots, the illegal trade continues on February 10, 2010 at 2:45 am

    […] will make sure I will never share a plane with illegally traded animals! Read the original article here. Posted in […]

  3. […] The total number of birds discovered numbers over 1500 between the shipments – all sent to Limbe Wildlife Refuge for rehabilitation. The birds who are alive and who are able to be released will be. Many have […]

  4. […] image from article by Limbe Wildlife Centre the illegal trade in African […]

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