Police were called to the World Parrot Refuge in British Colombia, Canada last weekend when two of their umbrella cockatoos, Bailey and Cocoa, were taken by a former employee. The employee, who has not been named, allegedly went into the area where the birds were held and took them, claiming that she did so because the birds were not cared for properly, CHEK News reports.
“I don? think she thought anybody would see her,?Volunteer Debbie Powell, who witnessed the incident, told CHEK News. “She thought we? all be in the back during our break. I just so happened to come from the bathroom.
“When she came out with the birds she told my daughter that ‘I’ll be right back in five minutes’ or something like that,?Powell added, “and walked out the door and left my daughter there waiting and never came back.”
Powell caught the former employee walking down the path, tried calling to her, but the woman ignored Powell and got in her car with the birds.
Susan Watkins, World Parrot Refuge director, told CHEK News, “If the employee truly believed that there was an abusive situation at the refuge, it should have been reported to the management and the board of directors so that we could have addressed it immediately. Alternatively, they could have gone directly to the police or to the SPCA. This individual did neither of those until ?from what I understand ?she had been informed that she was going to be charged with theft.?lt;/span>
CHEK News did confirm with the SPCA that a complaint was filed regarding the birds?wellbeing and that veterinarians are checking on their condition. The World Parrot Refuge posted the following on their Facebook page:
As a result of these circumstances, they posted that the public will no longer have direct access to the birds housed at the World Parrot Refuge.