Residents and tourists alike turned up to witness the release of one of Cayman’s indigenous riches over the weekend.
Cayman Turtle Centre and Island Heritage teamed up to release 4 of Cayman’s indigenous parrots at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Many turned out to witness the parrots’ freedom from captivity and Cayman Turtle Centre terrestrial educator Geddes Hislop said the 4 female Cayman parrots were well prepared for the life in the wild.
“So today (17 November) was collaborating with two years of work as we have been breeding the national bird in captivity. Before we release them we put them in an isolation programme so they get desensitized to people and they learn to be afraid of people, which is what we want. We don’t want them flying up to people and ending up in cages,” said Mr. Hislop.
Apart from the organizations like Island Heritage, that played a huge role in making the event a success, there was only one entity that made it all possible.
“Sweetpea was rescued from a poacher, the police found her tied up and injured on the side of the road apparently the poacher had tied her up but somehow she got away and was later hit by a car,” said Mr. Hislop.
Sweetpea was the mother of all 14 parrots that the Centre released over the years, including her four daughters released at the event in Botanic Park.
“She has been our most successful breeder,” said Mr. Hislop.
Unfortunately, earlier this year Sweetpea died.
Mr. Geddes said the release over the weekend was a tribute to her.
“So we are hoping that today her legacy will live on through her daughters because we do this in memory of her,” said Mr. Hislop.
He hoped the parrots will continue to strive together as one.
“They all bonded together well, so hopefully, in the wild, they will form their own little flock until they can join with other wild parrots,” said Mr. Hislop.
Nine parrots remain at the Centre and that includes three breeding pairs.