As far as I’m concerned, this kind of animal exploitation doesn’t fly.
By showing a cockatoo perched on a celebrity’s shoulder, NBC is giving viewers the mistaken impression that these animals make good pets — or that they should be pets at all. Some viewers might even be inspired to “own” one too, thereby leading to increased trade in wild-caught Moluccan cockatoos in their country of origin and abroad. Owning a pet cockatoo is a huge problem.
For better or for worse, the actions of celebrities have a major impact on trends… what to wear, who to wear, what to buy, and what animal companions to have. We see this all the time. The last thing this particular species needs is promotion as a “pet” and an increase in sales.
Nearly the entire remaining population of Moluccan cockatoos is found on the tiny island of Seram in Eastern Indonesia. The population has declined as a direct result of their popularity as pets, which has led to severe trapping for trade.
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