Saturday, December 4, 2021

Q&A with Simba



This column is the opinion of a 3-year-old African Grey Parrot named “Simba” who has an extremely high intelligence level. While he does not possess a degree from any college or university, he does have a strong opinion of himself and feels that he is the best candidate to answer the complex questions of today’s discerning pets…and the humans they own… 

Dear Simba, 

I am an anonymous Blue and Gold Macaw and the official spokesbird of Occupy The Rainforest. I cordially invite you to our first General Assembly and march in October. We are the creatures both big and small on the verge of extinction because of the illegal trade laws not being followed in accordance with the Wild Bird Conservation Act and CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). We are taking the rainforest back and will not stand to endure anymore poaching, trapping, and/or infiltration of our habitat.

We plan to draw up our demands in a proper letter to the CITES headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. However, none of us has the ability to use a pen and paper (we all have wings). Could you possibly ask your Administrative Assistant to kindly donate her time and effort to help us out on this matter? It would be most appreciated.

Signed, Anonymous 

Dear Anonymous, 

What a great movement you have going in the rainforest! I am honored to help out and support you 100%. The most important thing is to understand how the Wild Bird Conservation Act and the C.I.T.E.S. works. First, let’s give you a little history lesson. According to Wikipedia, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The convention was opened for signature in 1973, and CITES entered into force on July 1, 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants. Only one species protected by CITES, the Spix’s Macaw, has become extinct in the wild as a result of trade since the Convention entered into force.

The Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) of 1992 is an extremely important law restricting the massive importation of wild birds into the United States for the cage bird trade. This law bans the importation into the United States of the majority of wild-caught birds. All species listed on the various appendices of CITES were banned from commercial importation one year after passage of the law. This effectively banned importation of wild parrots, hummingbirds, birds of prey and many other birds on CITES. Regulations allow importation of birds for captive breeding under permit, and exempt species that are available only as captive-bred birds, such as canaries, cockatiels and budgerigars. Importation of birds bred in foreign countries is regulated. Zoos are exempt from the law’s provisions, except that they must obtain permits for imports and provide documentation on species to be imported. The USFWS issues permits for all imported birds not specifically exempted or unlisted by CITES. In retrospect, the WBCA was put into law to monitor the CITES.

As I’ve stated before birds mate for life just like wolves. With massive poaching for feathers, trapping, and infiltration of habitat the human race has destroyed an enormous amount of these families. I think the world can stand a few less golf courses to be built to save these habitats and our ecological system from failing. But that’s my opinion. I’ll do everything I can as Marco Island’s most famous parrot to help you guys out in the rainforest. In the meantime I’ll have Ms. Administrative Assistant working overtime…she owes me!

Fondly, Simba 

Simba is owned by Christina Giordano. If you have any questions you would like Simba to answer, please email them to: Ask 


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