‘Pressure off’ at parrot refuge in Coombs

Hundreds of birds are still at the facility, under the care of a veterinarian

Despite protesters and controversy, the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs is under the care of professionals, according to the owner of the non-profit facility’s land.

“Anne McDonald and Greyhaven have committed to supporting it for three months,” Horst Neumann said Monday morning, calling McDonald “one of the best veterinarians in the country.”

He said there is a large overdue BC Hydro bill, but he’s worked out an extension with them and McDonald, exotic bird veterinarian at the Night Owl Bird Hospital in Vancouver and a director with the Greyhaven sanctuary, has arranged veterinary and financial support.

“That takes the pressure off me and the SPCA,” he said, admitting in the past he is not interested in running the facility himself and is willing to work something out with the society that runs it, as long as it doesn’t continue to cost him money.

The facility, which in the past has had up to 900 parrots that owners could no longer take care of, has been in disarray since the founder, Neumann’s wife Wendy Huntbatch died in February.

Neumann said the RCMP have been called to deal with people on the property protesting, and he believe trying to remove birds because they believe them to be mistreated.

New manager and long-time employee Stephanie Martin has said the birds in the facility that are in rough shape came to them that way and are currently being nursed back to health.