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Parrot: Sweetpea

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Parrot: Sweetpea

Officials at the Cayman Turtle Centre are turning their attention to the release of a very different kind of creature than the one most frequently at the centre of the Centre’s wild release programme. Staff are currently preparing to release a Cayman Parrot that hasrecently fledged in the aviary. The baby parrot was hatched in early June to Leo, a male parrot who has called the Centre home since the 1980s and Sweetpea, a wild parrot rescued from a poacher and donated to the Turtle Centre’s aviary by Cayman Wildlife Rescue. The countdown to the parrots release will see the young bird isolated from human contact and a weaning from commercial feed. The staff will introduce natural wild food such as hardwood seeds and fruits, along with the branches of the trees so the young parrot will recognize the sources. Once the parrot has ignored the commercial feed and gone only for the wild diet, which could take up to a month or more then the bird will be released into the wild.  “We are excited and happy that our fledgling is doing well and in good health. We feel that he/ she will be a success in the wild and look forward to being able to be a part of the preservation of the local Cayman Parrot population. We appreciate the support of members of the public in enabling us to continue our efforts towards the conservation of our local wildlife,” said Geddes Hislop, Curator – Terrestrial Exhibits, Education Programs, & (Acting) Marine Exhibits. This is not the first feathered creature that the Turtle Centre has repatriated as part of the Headstart project. Other injured and rescued birds have included White-Crowned Pigeons, Caribbean “white belly” doves, as well as a couple of injured Cayman Brac parrots. The Release (Headstart) Program was started in 1979 and is usually associated with turtles. Since its inception the Centre stated that over 31,000 endangered green sea turtles have been released back into the wild population.