I enjoy watching Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER but what I don’t enjoy is when a person who has no experience with a specific species buys one off the internet and it ends up in Dr. K’s ER in a life or death situation.
Exotics do not have the Immune System to fight off infections they can get from Humans. There are also diseases that can be passed from the animal to humans that can be life threatening.
I’m going to talk about a pet that I actually have a Moluccan Cockatoo. It also is sometimes called a Salmon Crested Cockatoo.
The Moluccan is from eastern Indonesia and considered Vulnerable on the Endangered Species List due to the over exportation from Indonesia for the pet trade, the Timber business taking away their habitat, and being seen as a threat to coconut palms by locals. It’s illegal for Moluccans to be used in the pet trade today but there are loopholes in this law.
Moluccan Cockatoos are mentally and emotionally complicated parrots and very few people are able to meet their demands. They are also one of the largest parrots and eat berries, nuts, seeds, coconuts, and insects. They need plenty of room, a lot of attention, and mental stimulation.
Lack of attention, the wrong food, the wrong cage or cage placement can upset them. The Moluccan suffers the most from forced isolation. They are birds that need to be a happily mated pair. Males and females are rarely apart and were never meant to live a solitary existence.
Baby Moluccans often never learn how to relate to other birds because breeders take the eggs immediately from the mother and put them in an incubator. My father always let the mother sit on her eggs and raise her babies. His Moluccans were always mated pairs except for the one we have now, her mate passed away several years ago and my Dad is no longer part of the Exotic world. When he was it was because he was one of the few people successful at breeding endangered birds and helping endangered programs at Zoos and Wildlife Centers.
When a Moluccan isn’t given enough attention, their mate dies, their diet is wrong, really any small thing can set off feather plucking beginning on the chest. Most birds have a hard time breaking this habit and it turns to self mutilation. This is sad and painful to watch I’ve seen it before. If the self mutilation continues it’s best to euthanize the bird. They will self mutilate to the bone and the area will be the circumference of a baseball. Most will not let you tend to the wound and a bite from a Moluccan is serious. They can bite to the bone. Honey in it’s pure form is used the most to cover the wound and has had some success. Unfortunately it’s limited and the bird goes back to old habits.
People need to think hard when looking into owning an Exotic Bird many have long lifespans and do not adapt well to captivity. If you could fly wouldn’t you actually fly all the time? So why deny the natural born instinct of an animal so you can look at it?