Big Red Swept Off to Harvest Caye to Be Held Captive

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Updated: May 25, 2017

One of the most poached animals in the Chiquibul is the beautiful scarlet macaw. About a year ago one of the birds was rescued by the Belize Bird Rescue and given the name of Big Red. Since then the bird had been rehabilitated for release but on Tuesday evening Big Red was reportedly handed over to personnel of Harvest Caye. The Managing Director of Belize Bird Rescue, Nikki Buxton, is up in arms. Buxton told Love News that personnel from the Forest Department and Harvest Caye showed up at their headquarters and confiscated Big Red. She said Big Red has since been taken to Harvest Caye where he will be held in captivity for display for tourists. Buxton says this is not the ideal situation for Big Red since he was rehabilitated to be released back into the wild.

NIKKI BUXTON

“Yes we can confirm that the Scarlet Macaw that was in our rehabilitation for release program was taken from Belize Bird Rescue without prior notice and transported to Harvest Caye by Harvest Caye personnel Tony Garel and the wildlife program director Edgar Corella of the Belize Forestry Department. As there is quite a lot more to this situation that may be initially apparent and its currently under investigation at the senior government level.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“Is this a usual thing to occur?”

NIKKI BUXTON

“No its highly unusual. It was confiscated by the Forest Department during a routine inspections for the license program last year in November and he was discovered in somebody’s possession and its highly illegal to have Scarlet Macaws in captivity so he was confiscated and brought to Belize Bird Rescue for rehabilitation and as he was only a few months old at the time there was no reason to consider any alternative other than release.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“Was there a reason as to why this Scarlet Macaw was taken from your custody?”

NIKKI BUXTON

“The reason was given in the written notice to transfer to Harvest Caye but that is all we know at this time honestly.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“By your professional opinion, BBR has been rescuing birds for years, this Scarlet Macaw will not do well in Harvest Caye?”

NIKKI BUXTON

“In my opinion, definitely not.”

We called Forest Officer, Edgar Correa but he referred us to the Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido. Our calls to Sabido went unanswered.