Our Mission Statement
The Tropics, Inc., Exotic Bird Refuge is an organization solely dedicated to providing care for handicapped and unwanted pet birds. In addition, the organization provides educational programs to the general public in every effort to reach the masses with a message of education and responsible exotic bird ownership.
A View of Our Past and Our Future
At the time of our inception in 1989, we were working with five (5) birds; a Lutino Cockatiel, a yellow Naped Amazon, an African Gray, a Moluccan Cockatoo, and a blind Blue & Gold Macaw.
As the years passed, we were recognized for providing humane care to any exotic bird needing a home. Eventually, local and national television, newspapers, animal related publications and individuals with exotic birds came to notice our work. As a result, our bird population grew rapidly, increasing from five (5) birds in 1992 to a count of sixty-seven (67) birds by the end of 1996, over 300 birds in 2001, and topping out at over 450 birds within our 30 years of service.
Because pet stores and bird breeders handle the sales of exotic birds, we focused on serving as a refuge for handicapped and unwanted birds, and have recently (in 2003) become an adoption facility for those pet quality birds that require one-on-one human attention.
Some of the problems that our birds suffer from include blindness, missing, broken and/or deformed limbs, motor skill deficiencies, paralyzation and most common, emotional trauma which is manifested in self-mutilation behaviors such as feather and/or flesh mutilation brought on by some of the following scenarios:
- Either over indulgence or neglect by the owner of the pet bird.
- Frustration due to a bird’s forced captive state; not allowed to fly or have any choices in its life such as when & where to eat or bathe, denied a bird flock, or freedom to chose a mate and raise offspring.
- Frustration of a pet bird placed in a captive breeding situation he doesn’t want to be in because he is human imprinted.
- Accidents resulting in physical and/or psychological trauma that the bird can not overcome.
- Birth defects due to either flukes of nature or unfortunately, inbreeding.
The above remarks are generalizations. In no way are they intended to imply mishandling of birds by any one individual or group of individuals involved with parrots.
We at the The Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge provide long term care for any bird that we are asked to take in, regardless of the source. We have never had to turn away a bird and when we take a bird in we accept full responsibility for its care, including any medical attention it may require. On occasion we have been able to place a few birds into homes, but more commonly these birds wind up coming back to us because during the time we initially housed them they responded and bonded to us.
We, the human race, must take responsibility for these birds, be it an individual pet bird owner, a breeder, a retail sales establishment or a refuge. We can no longer shuffle these birds from pillar to post. They do not adapt to new environments well and there is still so much we do not understand about them. Careful consideration must be exercised in our decision making regarding exotic birds. They need a stable and comfortable environment in which to live out their long lives. Our first consideration should be the welfare of these creatures, and the education of the public who will purchase them.
In Summation, Our Mission Is As Follows:
- To serve as a full time refuge for exotic birds of all species.
- To reach the masses with public education and enrichment programs involving our handicapped and normal exotic birds.
- To encourage responsible sales techniques for breeders and/or retail pet shops.
- To encourage and support avian research for the purpose of conquering avian diseases.
- To encourage responsible methods of breeding for the preservation of the species and not just for profit. And to reduce the opportunity for the spread of diseases among the exotic bird population.
It is our sincere hope that we will continue to reach the masses with our message of education and responsible exotic bird ownership, but this can no longer be accomplished without the financial assistance from those of us concerned for the future fate of these birds. If everyone that is concerned about the long term care of exotic birds were to give only one donation a year to our efforts we would be able to continue our work and expand into every state in the country. Your tax-deductible donations are welcomed.