Lovesick as a parrot... Macaw that went on hunger strike
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Thursday 10 January 2013
It may not quite be Romeo and Juliet. They’re not even technically lovebirds. But Bangladeshi macaws Prince and Princess certainly have that animal magnetism.
Princess has not eaten for over a week after being separated from her partner Prince when he was sent back to his owner from a private zoo in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the two birds had met and fallen in love (as it were).
Prince had only been loaned to the zoo, said his owner, Iqram Selim, who wanted him back. On Monday a magistrate’s court ruled that Princess, too, should go to Mr Selim, saying it would be cruel to separate her from her mate and could lead to her death. However, the zoo’s owner, Abdul Wadud, who bought Princess as a partner for Prince, has successfully challenged the decision, which has now been overturned. Princess remains in the zoo, and the lovers remain apart.
In the wild, birds separated from their partners usually pair up again quickly or as soon as they can find an acceptable mate. But in this case, the only chance for Princess to be paired up again appears to be if Mr Wadud buys another mate – and her refusing food is a sign of great stress.
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