House Cat Kills Rare Parrots

Less than 50 of the birds left in wild

    Photo: JJ Harrison

The orange-bellied parrot, one of the world's rarest species of birds, got a little rarer when a cat broke into a breeding enclosure in Tasmania and killed two of the them, officials confirmed. Speaking to the province's parliament, Environment Minister Brian Wightman said that the birds were found dead in May after the feline crawled through a hole in their enclosure, sending the parrots into a panic.

"That is why it is very important we have correct housing for these birds," said Wightman. "We will continue to ensure that the facilities we have in the north and south of the state are secure and my expectation as minister would be that if there has been an issue that it is fixed in a timely manner and we will undertake to make sure it has occurred."

According to Treehugger, the feline culprit was discovered two days later, still trapped in the parrot enclosure.

Scientists estimate that there are 320 orange-bellied parrots alive today. All but about 50 of those live in captivity.

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