Category Archives: african grey parrot

14 Parrots Arrive from Confiscation

On Saturday, 10th November, we received 14 African Grey Parrots that were confiscated near Korup National Park from a smuggler who was on his way to Nigeria. Thankfully, all of the parrots arrived safely to L.W.C. without any deaths during transport.

Currently the parrots are in the stabilization period, and we have made special housing for them in our quarantine facility.


Within the next few days, all of the parrots will undergo health checks.

Those who are healthy enough will join the rest of the recovering parrots in the flight cage, and any individuals in need of treatment or close observation will remain in quarantine. As soon as the parrots are healthy, have all of their primary feathers, and are able to fly, they will be released.


New flight cage for the parrots

The whole Limbe team is very busy taking care of the parrots that we received in the beginning of December.

Last week we finished a 25x4x3 m flight cage for the parrots. The cage is placed in the Botanic Garden just opposite the wildlife centre on the edge of the Bota Hill Forest. The cage has perches in each end and is covered by palm ferns on the sides to make the parrots feel safe. During the night we have a security guard on the spot, to make sure that the parrots will not get stolen. “World Parrot Trust” has paid the construction of the flight-cage.

Flight cage small

This Saturday we moved the first parrots to the cage. Before moving them we check their feather and the ones, who need to have their feathers plucked, stay in the cage in the wildlife centre. We pluck the feathers one the ones that have had their wing-feathers clipped off. In that way the feather will re-grow faster. The parrots are also treated for parasites. “World Parrots Trust” has sent us bands to put on all the birds. When the parrots are released back to the wild, it will be interesting to find out where they go, and see if they end up here again. The catching and moving of the parrots early in the morning, so the parrots will not overheat.

Treating parrots small

So far we have moved almost 300 parrots to the flight cage. From the new group we have many strong birds with intact feathers.

Moving parrots small

The parrots get a variety of food. We are trying many different fruits, leaves, seeds and vegetables to find out what they prefer.

We have changed the way of feeding, where we before always feed in feeders on the floor, we have now moved the feeders up on platforms, and the parrots seems to like that.

It takes a lot of time, people and money to take care of the parrots and we really appreciate all the organizations and people that have already given us support. I am sure that the parrots are happy too.I have just passed by the new flight cage and the parrots are eating, singing and making happy sounds!

If you want to support us, please go to our website: and choose the button: ‘make a donation’ under ‘Limbe Wildlife Centre’. Thank you very much! We need and appreciate every donation we get, and will make sure that the money goes directly to animal care.

Best wishes,


Update LWC

First of all, sorry for being silent for such a long time. We have been very busy with all sorts of things, but blogging was not among them. I will try to give a small update about a few things that are going on.


The situation with the parrots has calmed down now. We still take care of more than 400 parrots and they will stay with us for a while. These are the parrots that were not releasable right away, because their wing feathers were clipped or glued. Our vet team has worked really hard to bring each parrot under aneastasia and pluck their feathers. This way the feathers will regrow faster and we will be able to release these birds in a couple of months.

mona monkey

We recently received a young mona guenon from a family in Douala. Although the family had contacted us themselves about the monkey, they were very sad to see her leave. When we picked up the monkey several people were crying. It just shows that many people buy monkeys because they really love them. They do not realize that a monkey belongs in the forest and just think it would make a nice pet. Only when the monkey grows up they find out that it is impossible to give it the proper care it needs. It is therefore important to raise awareness about this, so good-willing people can make better decisions.

Finally, we are very sad about the changes that have taken place at Wildlife Direct. We think the initiative to start Wildlife Direct was great and it has given us the opportunity to raise a lot of funds. Unfortunately Wildlife Direct was not able to raise enough funds themselves to continue all the work they did. As a result the paypal option on this blog has disappeared since the beginning of April. We are trying to set up a new construction with the help of Stichting Weesaapjes, an organization in the Netherlands that raises funds for the Limbe Wildlife Centre. I hope we will soon have this set up, so we can again receive donations from all of you. In the last two years you have been very kind to us and because of your generosity we were able to do so much more for the animals in our care.

Best wishes,


Release of Parrots

The Limbe Wildlife Centre is releasing the Grey parrots that were confiscated on Douala Airport. We are experimenting with a soft release method because we want to make sure that the survival of the birds is as high as possible. The idea is to keep a small group of parrots for a short while in a cage on the release site. After a few days the parrots are completely relaxed and they eat well. When the cage is opened the feeding will continue, so the parrots can choose either to go or to come back for some more food.


The first 24 parrots have been release with this method. All of them flew off immediately and did not come back. The food we leave on top of the cage has been untouched for 3 days. Well, release successful, but maybe we could have released them right away as well…

Best wishes, Simone

Parrots released

This morning we released the first 49 parrots in a community forest. The operation went very smoothly. We started early in the morning by catching 53 parrots. They were put in the three story transport box that Jacob, our carpenter, had prepared for them. The box was loaded on the car and off we went to the forest.


Upon arrival the box was opened and while a few parrots flew out right away, most of them took their time. Some had to be taken out of the box by hand and then they flew off. We found that 4 were not strong enough yet to fly well, so they went back home with us.


This release is a very nice start, but most of the parrots will have to stay much longer at the Limbe Wildlife Centre before they are ready to fly. We appreciate your continued support greatly. Please help to take care of these wonderful birds and bring them back where they belong.


Best wishes,


Parrots counted: 503!

Yesterday we counted, selected and treated all the parrots that were confiscated in Douala Airport two and a half weeks ago. With 7 people we worked from 7am to 5pm, but in the end we had done all the parrots. There were many more birds than we had estimated! We now know that the total amount of parrots seized was 503. All of them were stuffed in 10 wooden boxes and arrived in terrible circumstances in the Limbe Wildlife Centre.

This number explains why the parrots are eating so much. We spend about $45 per day on food for the parrots. We really can use all the support you can give us. Please do a small donation through the paypal option on this page. We are very grateful.


In order to treat the parrots for parasites and to assess their health each parrot has to be caught separately. A lot of the parrots are too skinny and have clipped wing feathers. The parrots in this shipment hardly had glue on their wings, which is something we have seen a lot in earlier parrot shipments. Parrots are often caught by applying glue into a basket and then placing a live parrot inside the basket. Other parrots then come to see what is happening and get stuck in the glue. On the other hand, this time we found a lot of birds with their feathers tied together, which is something we have not seen before.


The good, healthy flyers were then placed in one room and all the others in another room. The total amount of flyers is 176. In ten days time the treatment against psittacosis will be finished and we will then start with the release of the flyers. The other animals will have to spend more time in the LWC in order to become healthy and strong.

Best wishes,


Feeding the parrots

First of all, thank you all for your support concerning the rescue of around 300 parrots from Douala Airport. Some of you might wonder why your remarks were not visible on the blog right away, but I just found 18 responses in the moderation box. It is good to know that so many people are thinking about us while we are doing everything to save the lives of these parrots.


Unfortunately we still have a few dead parrots every day. The vet team has done post mortems on them and found symptoms that could point in the direction of psittacosis. We do not have final results yet, but we are treating with doxycycline in the food.

Which brings me to feeding the parrots. Parrots eat a lot! The staple food we give them is a mash of cracked corn, casava flour and peanut. They also eat a variety of fruits, palmnuts and plums. Palmnuts are their favorites, but we are careful not to feed too much of them, as they have a very high fat content. Plums in Cameroon have nothing to do with the juicy fruits we eat in Europe. What is called plum in this country is a rather hard, dark blue fruit with a lot of carbohydrates. If you cook them for two minutes they taste like potato!

Best wishes,


Parrots update

It is really great that so many people are showing their concern and offering their help for the confiscated parots. We have decided to give them a little bit more time to settle in before we start counting and treating them. In the first days 29 birds have died, but we hope that we have had the worst part now. Most parrots seem to be in a relatively good condition, so hopefully a lot of them will be released soon.


Best wishes,


Massive confiscation of grey parrots

Yesterday hundreds of parrots were rescued and transfered to the Limbe Wildlife Centre. They were confiscated at the Douala Airport, where they were kept prior to shipment out of the country. The illegal animal dealer has fled. The parrots were sitting in 10 crates, covered with lice, without food or water. By the time they arrived in the LWC 7 animals were dead and 4 more died soon after arrival.


Fortunately we had space in the quarantine, so we quickly prepared an enclosure for them. Our carpenter rushed to the market to get perches and find saw dust for on the floor. Some others went to buy corn, casava, peanuts and palmnuts in order to prepare the food. In no time the ape quarantine enclosure was changed into a flight cage for parrots. The parrots were off loaded and less then 2 hours after arrival they were confortably settling down in their new temporary home.

The horror of shipments like this is most visible when the strong birds have flown out of the transport cages, leaving the weak ones behind.


This makes me very angry with the people who do this. On the other hand, I want to focus on all those parrots whose lives are now saved. They will get all the care they need and most of them will be released back into the wild. From earlier experience I know that we will have months ahead of us with a lot of extra work, but that is okay. The Limbe Wildlife Centre has a bunch of great animal keepers, who will do everything to rehabilitate these parrots and let them fly in the forest again. We will keep you informed about the developments.


Best wishes,


More African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

With ‘only’ around fifty African grey parrots remaining from the confiscations of November 2007, we thought that we were almost through with our parrot adventure. But the government of Cameroon takes the parrot trade seriously and last week another 39 parrots were seized from trappers in Mundemba and brought to the Limbe Wildlife Centre. It is incredible how much these birds eat, so we are looking for more funds for food and veterinary care. Each donation is very welcome.

transport baskets

Workers of DED (German Development Organisation) delivered the parrots to the LWC. We would like to thank them, because this was the quickest possible way to get the birds out of their miserable situation. They were packed in three small baskets, all on top of each other.

bad condition

They must have been without food and water for several days, because their condition was very bad and they were covered with faeces. As all the wings were clipped, they will have to stay in the LWC for a long time in order to regrow their feathers. In the first few days two of the parrots died.

clipped wings

The parrots are now housed in the quarantine. We will try to get some more meat on their bones soon, because they are very weak now. The sound of them has already changed from a nervous screaming to a nice variable song. Even if you know nothing about this species of birds, you just hear that they are doing better now then a few days ago. As soon as possible we will join them with the parrots that are living in our mango tree enclosure.

Best wishes,

Simone de Vries

Assistant Project Manager