Israeli wildlife NGO saves Palestinian parrot in Gaza

“We were pained to hear about the parrot’s condition and didn’t see a reason to put him down.”

March 23, 2019 10:20
1 minute read.
Congo African Grey parrot

Congo African Grey parrot. (photo credit: L. MIGUEL BUGALLO SÁNCHEZ/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)


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Koki, an African grey parrot living with his Palestinian owner in Gaza, was in dire need of medical treatment after drinking bleach that burned a hole in its throat.

Abdullah Sharaf, Koki's owner, did not give up on his parrot, after local veterinarians suggested to put Koki down, for they did not have the means to save his life. Sharaf  looked for any way he could to save his parrot. That's when he decided to write a message to For the Wildlife on Facebook.

For the Wildlife is an Israeli NGO that is run by Avihu Sherwood. Sharaf wrote his message in Arabic, and Sherwood was excited to help in any way he could. 

“We’ve never gotten such a request, and were happy to be able to take part in something that brings people together,” Sherwood said. “We were pained to hear about the parrot’s condition, and didn’t see a reason to put him down if we could supply him with the medical care he needs, despite it being unavailable in Gaza."

The NGO coordinated with the Israeli authorities to set up a clinic in which they could operate on Koki at the Erez border crossing, seeing as neither side could cross the border. The NGO provided all the permits and Sharaf brought Koki to the checkpoint.

Koki underwent surgery performed by Dr. Shlomit Levy, who is the only Israeli veterinarian who is dedicated solely to the care of birds and parrots. The surgery went well, and Koki is already recovering back at home.

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