"Perry, a five-year-old African grey parrot, is for sale on a well-known pet trade website for £750. She looks in good condition with her large black bill, red tail and white mask and her owner says she can whistle the tune of Flower of Scotland, does a passable imitation of R2D2 and is “very clever and funny”.
What Perry’s Scottish owner does not tell prospective buyers is that the African grey is close to extinction in the wild largely because of the international pet trade.
Although there have been restrictions on the export of these small and intelligent birds since 2009, dealers pay a pittance for tens of thousands of them to be trapped every year in the rainforests of west and central Africa and smuggled out."
It’s easy to catch them, say researchers from Birdlife, a global grouping of conservation groups. A team of hunters will use decoys or go to the birds’ water and mineral licks in the forests where flocks gather. They then throw nets over them and take dozens at a time.