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New Lease of Life for Parrots

PUBLISHED: 11:47 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 July 2010

HOPE FOR PARROTS: Frances Coulson

HOPE FOR PARROTS: Frances Coulson

Parrots - famed for being dead in Monty Python's iconic sketch - are being given hope of a new life after family break-up or bereavement.

For Frances Coulson's passion for the exotic birds knows no bounds with an its-me-or-the parrot ultimatum from her partner leaving him in no doubt as to where her affections lay.

Parrots - famed for being dead in Monty Python's iconic sketch - are being given hope of a new life after family break-up or bereavement.

For Frances Coulson's passion for the exotic birds knows no bounds with an its-me-or-the parrot ultimatum from her partner leaving him in no doubt as to where her affections lay.

The 68-year-old widow from Gorleston - inspired by her own experience with African Grey Sophie - wants to set up a sanctuary for birds stuck in domestic crossfire or simply surplus to requirements following a move or a change of circumstances.

She said there was a major hidden homelessness problem among parrots mainly because of their lifespan of 40 to 100 years, and their tendency to only bond with one person.

She wants to set up a satellite sanctuary to one she supports in Lincolnshire capable of taking up to 100 birds in large aviaries - and wants to raise £800 a month needed to run one. However her charity shop venture in King Street has run into problems and she is looking out for new premises.

In Lincolnshire and a holding centre in Cambridge they were coming in “at such a rate” leaving her in no doubt that there would be demand for something similar in Yarmouth.

“You have to love them for life,” she said. “But unfortunately there are so many break-ups and people dying and having to move house. They have such long lives and they really struggle. I have had Sophie for 15 years and I love her to bits, but I have met a new partner and he loathes her. You can be very happy with your pet on your own but if you meet someone else they might want you to get rid of them - but I would rather break up with my feller. I would not part with her for the world.

“Circumstances change. I came to Norfolk leaving my council house and moved into my daughters. But when she sold that I had to move into rented accommodation. Although I was lucky and was able to take my pets I had a lot of upset and heartache.”

She estimates that once she finds a site the sanctuary will cost around £800 a month with the focus on life-long care and rehoming.

Mrs Coulson said she was keen to translate her passion for parrots into positive action at a time in her life when people either took to their armchairs or got out and did something.

Mrs Coulson is keen to hear from other parrot enthusiasts or anyone who can offer shop premises. Contact her on 01493 602819.

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