Sergii Antonov and Roxy
Today I was following my usual routine and had just logged onto one of the parrot owners’ Facebook pages I am a member of by the name of No Flocks Given. As the name implies, this group pushes the edges of Facebook “community standards” and Friday’s are designated “Freakout Friday” when anyone can post anything they choose. But it’s also a good idea to post ‘bird related’ material.
But this new post was a bit unexpected because No Flocks Given on Freakout Friday isn’t the place one expects to find a genuine plea for help. This one was a pass — on from another page and none of the group pages are “shareable.”
This isn’t a joke or a hoax. A real person named Sergii Antonov is trapped along with his Moluccan Cockatoo named Roxy in the Ukraine and he and his bird are close to the Russian bombing. For those who don’t know, Moluccan Cockatoos are among the smartest parrots on Earth and have their own personalities complete with a sense of mischief and a sense of humor. (They also are operatic in the body movements and can throw an emotional fit at 130 decibels.) But according to Sergii, Roxy is confused because she has never had this kind of experience and can sense Sergii’s unease. (These birds bond closely to their owner and live up to sixty years.)
March 3, 2022 Most recent update from Sergii Antonov and Roxy.
“Our news: Thursday, March 3, 2022, Kyiv, day eight
I find myself thinking that time has lost its meaning. I no longer understand what day of the week it is, what date … We only count what day of the war. This terrible, unjust war completely destroyed all the well-being of my life and the lives of millions of Ukrainians who abandoned their successful businesses, their favorite things, left their homes and families.
Animals are especially affected, and first of all, exotic birds. They will not be able to survive in this hell. They will not be saved in the middle of a snowy winter, in blockaded cities, amid the howling of sirens and endless explosions, in cold basements and houses, without fresh fruits and vegetables. They feel how confused their owners are, who do not know what to do, how to get food, how to take their pet out.
For several days now I have been figuring out how other owners of cockatoos and other parrots acted in this situation. I called more than 10 people known to me and found out that no one left the besieged Kyiv. None of them dared to ride with a parrot on congested roads for several days.
The owners decided to stay under fire in order to save and soothe their kids. This is also a feat. Some people sent their children to a safe place in the western regions of Ukraine or abroad, while they themselves were left alone in apartments and houses that are constantly shelled. They soothe their babies, cover them with their bodies during the shelling and sing songs to them to drown out the howl of the siren.
I learned that many parrots from Kyiv experienced terrible stress these days and began to pluck their feathers. It’s so scary and insulting, how can happiness and all life be destroyed in an instant?
On Roxy’s condition:
My peach princess has already adapted to the sirens, but continues to flinch from the explosions. During today’s evening walk, she sat on me all the time, moving from shoulder to knee and back.
Today Roxy ate porridge and fruits from my hand. And at the same time, she tightly grabbed my finger with her paw. She is very smart and grew up overnight, she realized that her dad would give his life for her. And she is very grateful. I was pleasantly surprised when she selected her favorite treats from the feeder: nuts and pumpkin seeds and brought them to me and waited for me to try them all.
Roxy hasn’t made a sound in a few days. She will no longer me and the neighbors with her loud cry in the morning. However, the last two days I see that she feels better.
About my condition:
I’m relatively stable, there is no high temperature. I try to sleep more during the day because I don’t sleep until 5 am. It is very dangerous to sleep during the shelling. And the heaviest shelling occurs at night.
I was promised to find medicines by several of my acquaintances doctors and pass them on through volunteers. Today they could not do it, because it takes a very long time to get around the city because of the many checkpoints and the risk of being fired upon. However, they promised to do it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
For this day’s post, I specifically chose a photo from a past life. This photo was taken in 2015 on the paradise island of Bali. It was there that I had the opportunity for several days to communicate closely with the wonderful Moluccan cockatoo, which sat at the entrance to the Animal Park. It could be stroked and I specially came for this for several days.
I left Indonesia with a broken heart and decided for myself that my next parrot would be the M2. After returning home, I began to look for where I could buy such a handsome man. It turned out that this could be done in my small homeland in the Czech Republic.
However, failure awaited me, in this kennel there was a long waiting list. A bird of a certain sex had to wait more than a year. I agreed, made an advance payment and left for Australia. And when I was forced to come to Ukraine, after 5 months they called me and said that your baby had hatched.
Roxy is the bird of my dreams. And we have a very strong emotional connection. Nothing can break it.
I thank you all again. I read every comment and private message. They give me strength and resilience. You just became our family. We are ready to keep going.