A woman contacted our sanctuary from New Orleans and told me that there was a cockatoo located in a home in Annapolis, who desperately needed our help. The bird's caregiver of 20 years had passed away in their home and her husband had been transported to the hospital by ambulance and was probably not going to make it. Both people were infected by SARS-CoV-2, better known as the virus that causes COVID-19. Sadly, three more victims of our dreaded pandemic.
The lady who contacted me had also contacted our local SPCA for help but they told her they were unable to help out. Animal Control was unreachable. She told me her aunt had a key to the house. I told her to have her aunt give the bird some food and water until I could get there. She told me that her aunt lived over 2 hours away, refused to go into the house over COVID concerns, and that no one was able to handle the bird named Kak except for his now deceased companion.
The cockatoo had not had any food or water since before his caregiver passed away. She passed on Wednesday. It was now Friday, Christmas Eve. At this point, I thought Kak was a Moluccan cockatoo based on the lady’s description. Being a moluccan, one of the largest of the cockatoos, I was hoping he’d have a better chance of survival than a smaller one.
Upon meeting the aunt at her brother's house, we found that the key she had made didn’t work. She had to go back to the hospital to retrieve the original key which added yet another hour until I could reach the dying cockatoo. The seconds were painfully ticking away for Kak. Pounding on the door while repeatedly calling his name, I was hoping to hear a call; a sound that would let me know he was still alive . . . silence.
FINALLY, after returning with the key and letting me in, I found a cage completely covered with 2 heavy blankets. I was softly calling Kak’s name while removing the blankets, without getting any response. I was prepared for the worst. But much to my surprise and delight, I found a little Goffin’s cockatoo sitting on a platform perch (the only perch) in his cage with his eyes wide open!! There were no bowls or toys in his cage whatsoever. It was a cage used just for sleeping. I would've started crying tears of joy but I wanted to get him out of the house as quickly as possible and begin the process of slowly rehydrating him.]
Kak, alone and confused, survived in his dark cage without anything to eat or drink for at least 2 days. While this was a devastating tragedy for his human family, and for Kak as well, it was also a Christmas miracle for this special little bird.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sleep cages are often recommended for our companion birds to help them sleep more soundly. HOWEVER . . . make sure your bird has access to food and water just in case something should happen to you. At least provide access to water, as they will most likely succumb to dehydration before starvation. I'm sure Kak's caregiver never could've imagined the tragic scenerio that unfolded for her family that dreadful day.