Israeli Agriculture Ministry inspectors on Wednesday rescued 50 parrots who were kept in appalling conditions in a dark basement below a Ramle apartment building.
Following a preliminary investigation, authorities suspect the parrots were held as part of an illegal wildlife trafficking ring worth tens of thousands of shekels.
The exotic avians were kept in tiny, crowded cages full of waste and excrement and without basic necessities to sustain their health.
They were safely removed from the basement by the ministry inspectors, who operated in coordination with the Ramle Municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and moved to a protected ministry facility to begin their rehabilitation and treatment.
A mayor and his parrot
A parrot also grabbed headlines in Israel's North earlier this week when Kiryat Shmona Mayor Avichai Stern rescued his pet parrot today from the top of a tree a day after it escaped from the Stern family's house and disappeared.
The parrot, Arthur, was eventually found with the help of a city crane, prompting local residents to ponder whether an average resident would have received the help of the municipality with equipment and municipal employees.