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Chandra, adopted on 01/06/09, † 02/06/14
Many people love animals. But loving them doesn't always mean doing them good. One spectacular case of misunderstood love of animals was discovered here in Germany a few weeks before Christmas in 2008. In our capital Berlin, there was a man who shared his 62 square meters domicile with hundreds of budgies and a few cockatiels, the media claimed. The journalists were talking about 500 birds in this apartment. There have been several reports on TV about this topic. When I heard about the story, I surfed to the website of one of these TV stations to get some more information. What I found was a shocking video shown on the website of RTL. After looking at it, I was sure there were disabled or injured birds among these animals. The public authorities have announced they would soon confiscate the birds and make sure they would find new homes. Here in Germany, we have a club of budgie lovers which is called Verein der Wellensittich-Freunde Deutschland (VWFD) . Some club members live in Berlin, so they offered their help to the authorities. And I told the VWFD that I was willing to give a home to two handicapped birds.
Staff members of the local veterinary office were in charge of the rescue mission, and also someone from the VWFD was involved in it. As this woman told me, it took them two nights to get all the birds out of the apartment. In fact first reports were wrong about the number of birds. They caught 1728 birds in that domicile, among them circa 50 cockatiels. All the other birds were budgies. In countless cages the majority of the birds have been brought to the local animal shelter. During the rescue mission, the participators found about 30 budgies who were seriously injured or ill. These birds have been brought to a woman in Berlin who would take care of them. I know this woman for a long time because she also gives shelter to wild birds who need help. In fact I provide a website about how to care for injured wild birds, it's the Wildvogelhilfe .
So two of the birds at the woman's place where supposed to be my budgies. I sent her an e-mail to get more information. She told me about a charming young bird with splay legs - who today is called Chandra - and a tiny green female budgie: Aditi. Like all the other birds she cared for, both of them suffered from Trichomoniasis and bacteria in their alimentary system. Chandra's biggest problem was the malformed legs. Most probably her mother or a sibling stepped on his back in the nest box. Her tiny hip was too weak to carry this additional weight. Therefore the hip became dislocated.
In case a breeder finds a nestling suffering from this particular health problem right after the bones where twisted, a treatment can prevent the worst. By binding the little bird's feet for about two weeks, the bones can be put into the right position; and a lifelong handicap can be prevented. But Chandra wasn't that lucky since her former owner didn't notice the serious circumstances. When the bird arrived at the woman's place, it was already too late to try and help her by binding her feet. For the rest of her life, Chandra will have to cope with her disability.
Because I already have owned many disabled budgies and my bird room is safe for those handicapped animals, I promised to give Chandra a fond new home. On 01/06/2009 she and two friends - Aditi had fallen in love with Ravi - hitchhiked from Berlin to Düsseldorf. A local club member of the VWFD received them at a meeting point downtown and then took them to my place (Nicole did that for me because I don't have a car). I want to say thank you to her for bringing my cute little friends to their new home on this bitterly cold Tuesday night.
To be honest, I have been very excited when the birds arrived here. I hadn't seen photos of Chandra so far. When I saw her first, I immediately noticed her curious gaze and her big black eyes that showed me she was still adolescent. In fact, her first moult had just begun, so I guessed she was born in August 2008. Since my three new budgies have been under quarantine in Berlin, I was sure they were all healthy and not carrying any contagious diseases. Therefore I let Chandra and her two fellows move into my bird room the morning after their arrival. I was glad to see that Chandra was able to fly even though her hips are dislocated. Her flock fellow Indira also had splay legs, but she cannot fly.
Chandra became a very charming budgie lady. She later fell in love with Ravi after he had lost his love Aditi. And also Chandra made friends with two of my linneolated parakeets: Kimmy and Pinto. The photo below shows Chandra while she was caressing Kimmy who was blind. It seemed to me as if Chandra who was disabled herself felt that Kimmy was in need of friendship when she arrived at my place. It was heartwarming to see Chandra being so kind.
Regrettably Chandra became very ill when she was about four years old. One day I noticed a swelling, her belly had become a bit larger than before. Also the colour of her cere changed from brown to blue. This was alarming, because both symptoms are typical for an ovarian tumour. An avian vet confirmed this diagnosis and when breathing became hard for Chandra because of the growing tumour, I decided to put her down and prevent any further torment. It was very hard for me to let her go, but it was necessary. The memories of my lovable budgie lady will live forever in my heart.
Chandra's colour mutation is called yellowface in blue with a normal plumage drawing like you can find it in wild budgies.
Meaning of the name
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