The much-loved birds of the Cornwall Park aviary are to have their environment expanded and enriched in response to public submissions to the Cornwall Park Reserve Management Plan.
In March 2019, Hastings District Council consulted with the community about the future of the aviary as part of a wider consultation on Cornwall Park, and got a strong response that people wanted it retained, but with enlarged and enhanced cages for the birds.
Councillor Geraldine Travers, who is a local resident and was closely involved with the Cornwall Park Reserve Management Plan consultation process through her membership of Friends of Cornwall Park says the park and its aviary are very valued by the community.
“There was a clear message from our community that they wanted the aviary to remain in the park, where the birds have delighted visitors of all ages for years.
“Council is committed to following the wishes of those who took part in the consultation to create a bigger, more interesting home that will be enhance enjoyment both for the birds and the public.”
As a result of the consultation on the Cornwall Park Reserve Management Plan, $75,000 was set aside to undertake this work in this financial year, with the two large parrots’ cages being the first priority.
As well as having enlarged cages, the improvements are expected to include more perches, increased ground vegetation, and play things to help keep them engaged and entertained.
In more recent weeks, concerns have been expressed about the two large parrots (a Corella called Corella and a Cockatoo called Mate) and their living conditions, with a petition being presented to council asking for these birds to be permanently relocated into the lead petitioners’ care.
Following up on these concerns, council engaged veterinarian Veronika Pipe from Vet Services Hawke’s Bay to inspect the birds and their enclosures.
She reported both birds were in good, healthy condition, and were not displaying any destructive behaviour, such as plucking their feathers out, which would indicate distress.
In addition, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) visited the birds and also found they were generally well looked after, at the same time supporting council’s plans to improve the aviary for an enhanced environment.
The SPCA has offered to help find a temporary location for the birds while the extension work takes place, estimated to be complete by Christmas this year.
2 September 2020
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