A Surrey bird sanctuary is still looking to re-home over 150 rescued parrots.
The Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary brought the exotic birds over from Nanaimo in May 2016. Since the rescue, Greyhaven has amassed a bill of over $500,000 in medical costs caring for the birds.
READ MORE: Largest bird relocation in Canadian history
Jenny Tamas, Greyhaven’s Director of Adoption, houses many of the parrots in her own home, and has formed a personal connection with her birds.
“Each one of them that gets adopted takes a bit of your heart, but knowing that they are going into a home of their own is really rewarding,” said Tamas.
WATCH MORE: Volunteer Jenny Tamas shows the extensive commitment parrots require
The parrots originally came from a refuge center in Coombs, which closed in 2016 following the death of its founder Wendy Huntbatch. It was one of the largest animal rescue efforts seen in Canada, transporting 584 birds in total.
According to Greyhaven, the average companion bird will have seven different homes in its lifetime.
“They take a lot of work and they often outlive their owners… Parrots need a lot of attention and when they don’t get enough attention they do get into trouble. Stories of people getting their kitchen ruined or base boards ripped off are not uncommon,” said Matthew Spate in 2016, a World Parrot Refuge supervisor.
Spate said parrots are loud — their squawks and screeches are louder than barking dogs. They also talk, often mimicking the words of their owners, and they can live up to 75 years old.
“You also get bit quite a bit,” Spate said. “You definitely get put through the ringer. But once you get to know the birds and they get to know you, they are actually great animals who are very intelligent and very personable.”
WATCH MORE: Homes needed for hundreds of parrots at Vancouver Island sanctuary
Greyhaven hopes people will flock to their center to volunteer, adopt, or donate.
For more information visit their website.
~ with files from Canadian Press and Linda Aylesworth