Now efforts focused on finding forever homes for more than 400 exotic birds
At its peak, it housed more than 900 exotic birds.
But as of Friday, the World Parrot Refuge in Errington closed its doors to the public.
The facility’s founder died in February without leaving a succession plans for the facility and the birds she loved.
Now, the pressure is on to relocate more than 400 remaining birds.
Mary Griffin has the latest.
From macaws, to cockatoos, to budgies.
Every type of unwanted exotic bird found at home over the years at Errington’s World Parrot Refuge.
Matthew Spate is one of the few remaining staff members at the Refuge.
It’s fallen on hard times.
“It’s a very big job.
There’s probably still 400 birds that need to be re-homed, and a lot of them have to go to a very special home.”
Since the death of founder Wendy Huntbatch in February, there’s a race against time to relocate the remaining birds.
The Refuge has an August first eviction date.
Many will be transferred to the vacant SPCA building Nanaimo.
A few will go back to their original owners.
Donny-Jo Tymusko spots her cockatoo, and she’s hoping to take him home.
“My bird was stolen, and ended up with me two years of me hunting to find my bird.
And I found out it was here at the parrot rescue.”
Eliza Storie is a volunteers with Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary.
The organization is taking over the care of the birds until they can be adopted out.
“The difficulty is that we want to do it properly.
We want to make sure these birds go to homes that are going to be forever homes.
That they are not going to be going to one, two, three and four more homes in their lifetime.”
Spate says moving the hundreds of exotic birds is expected to take several weeks.
“Vancouver Island loves these birds, and loves this place.
It’s kind of the state that we are right now and we have to move forward from there.”
Anyone interested in adopting a bird or donating to Greyhaven can email:
CHEK News photographer Jack Burmeister and friend.