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35 Grey Parrots Confiscated at Nairobi Airport
July 10, 2009 (Kenya) - FlockTalk (WPT email newsletter), August 09

This past month a shipment of 35 Grey Parrots, flying from Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United Arab Emirates, was confiscated at Nairobi Airport and placed in quarantine by the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS). Dr. Joash Kibagendi Kerosi, who is the Kenyan Government's veterinarian on staff at the airport, noted that the birds were lacking much of the required paperwork and initiated the confiscation and follow up investigation.

Dr. Kerosi recently received special training this past June at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva, Switzerland. Central to this course was animal handling and CITES regulations. Dr. Kerosi's training was made possible through support from the World Parrot Trust (WPT), with additional assistance from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Humane Society of the US (HSUS). WPT is also in contact with KWS, and has notified the Kenyan SPCA, offering aid for the parrots' feeding and vet care. It is uncertain how the parrots will fare after this ordeal, but it is hoped that most will survive the quarantine period.

The Grey Parrot is now extinct in Kenya, and few birds remain in neighbouring Uganda. These confiscated birds and future consignments like them may eventually be rehabilitated and released to help re-establish Grey Parrots in areas where they are currently extinct. A recent review of the status of the Grey Parrot found the species to be declining nearly everywhere it occurs due to heavy trapping for the pet trade.

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