Written by Annerie de Waal
Lucy’s Safe Landings was founded after the rescue of a very special girl towards the end of 2014.
At that stage, I was just a person in love with parrots and had two of my own. I came across a Gumtree advertisement of a very sad-looking white cockatoo with barely any feathers. She’d been used for breeding and then kept in a dark cage because she was so noisy. I tried to negotiate with the person selling her, but he wouldn’t budge. With the help of many South Africans, Australians and Americans, we raised the funds within two days to buy her.
This girl was named Lucy. She came to me completely broken. She showed no emotions whatsoever, and when I looked into her eyes I could see she was just empty inside.
Lucy had many problems, both medical and emotional. She was severely depressed and almost bald; her diet, which consisted solely of sunflower seeds, had caused liver damage. It took eight months for her to recover.
This journey to healing Lucy with her made me realise that this was what I wanted to do: I wanted to take birds that are broken and empty and who’ve been failed by humans and show them what life should be like. Watching Lucy go from where she was to the amazing girl she blossomed into was an amazing experience. That is also why I decided to name the rescue after her – she is the reason for so many other birds now getting the help they need and a second chance.
Education is key
Over the past four years we have rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed numerous parrots. The parrots we get in are either rescued from bad situations, surrendered by owners who are moving house or are unable to care for them anymore, or were abandoned.
Then there are cases of birds being in terrible shape due to sheer ignorance of the owner. Education, therefore, is one of the most important aspects of the rescue: to help others care for their parrots, correct their diet, and give them the correct cage size, enough time out of the cage, and loads of toys.
We’ll always work with an owner who wants to learn to improve the life of his/her companion parrots.
We’re different from most other rescues in that we’re still a home-based rescue. But I’m fortunate that, even though I do work full-time, I have an amazing support system helping me with birds and ensuring they get everything they need.
Our dream is to move the rescue to its own property in order to be able to help even more birds, and I know we will get there. Being a home-based rescue, space is limited and rescued birds are rehomed when they’re ready.
Birds that are unable to be rehomed stay here or are sent to live at Brainy Birds – Parrot Training and Rescue Facility in Edenvale (http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/news-articles/a-dream-takes-flight-at-brainy-birds-parrot-rescue-rehabilitation/) or Hyacinth Haven in Plettenberg Bay.
The rehoming process is extremely hard as we do get attached to every parrot that comes through here, but receiving updates and seeing a bird that came in on the brink of death flourishing in his new home makes everything worth it!
We are entirely self-funded and every donation makes a difference. Our wish list includes:
- Funds for vet bills, food, toys, petrol and another aviary for our rescues
- Fresh foods (vegetables and fruit) to make chop for the flock
- Tree nuts such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc. (no peanuts, please), which are particularly important for the larger parrots that need this in their daily diet.
- Parrot toys and enrichment – these don’t necessarily have to be toys bought at a pet shop, but anything a parrot can safely chew or shred, such as untreated wood off-cuts, or items such as ice cream sticks for the little ones. Cable ties and safe rope to secure the toys are also always needed.
- Wood: bottlebrush, sekelbos (sicklebush) or eucalyptus for perches (or any other safe woods)
- F10 disinfectant
Donations can be paid into our rescue account or directly to the vet.
Lucy’s Safe Landings
Nedbank cheque account
Branch code: 103710
Acc. no.: 113 094 0039
Please email proof of payment to: email@example.com so we can thank you.
Cape Exotic Animal Hospital
Acc. no.: 627 4590 3303
Branch no.: 210 655
Reference: 2688 (Please send your proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org in order for them to allocate the payment to us.)
For more information, please WhatsApp or SMS 064 904 0696 (phone calls for real emergencies only), email email@example.com and follow us on Facebook