A shipment of the now increasingly rare African Grey Parrots to Europe, initially numbering 108 birds – according to figures at hand from a source at UWEC in Entebbe – ended up in tragedy for the feathered beauties when only 32 survived and were returned to Uganda where the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe received them for treatment and eventual release into their habitat.
The source indicated that the shipment was confiscated by airport authorities in Sofia / Bulgaria, while en route to an address in Serbia, where the rare birds were likely to have been sold as caged exhibits to rich ‘collectors’.
Mr. James Musinguzi, recently appointed as substantive Executive Director after serving for over two years in an acting capacity, was in local media quoted to have said: ‘This is the first time African Grey Parrots confiscated outside Africa are returned to one of their range countries for rehabilitation. All the birds are in good health save for one that had shade off its feathers -a sign of malnutrition. We have kept them in a quarantine aviary for monitoring and inspection for 30 days and will release them after’.
UWEC gained global recognition two years ago when it successfully nurtured over 200 African Grey Parrots back to health after they were rescued at the Uganda / Congo border from an illegal trader, and eventually released them back into the forests of Uganda, as a result of which the World Parrot Trust initiated the return of this latest consignment of the birds from Europe back to Uganda.