PAR­ROTS AND PI­RATES

Squawk! Shiver me tim­bers!

Animal Scene - - COVER STORY -

If you’ve been think­ing about it, then you are prob­a­bly cor­rect. Ama­zon par­rots are known in film his­tory as the pre­ferred pets of pi­rates. How­ever, Hol­ly­wood aside, did pi­rates re­ally keep par­rots as pets?

Pi­rates had good rea­son to keep talk­a­tive par­rots as their com­pan­ions. They didn’t eat much, and what they did eat could be stored eas­ily. They were amus­ing and could be taught to “speak,” which was a def­i­nite plus if you were on board a ship for months. They would also be great for show­ing off once you reached another port.

They could also be sold as an ex­otic pet. Boo on pi­rates! But hey, that was what they were known for.

Sadly, how these pets were ac­quired was very much as a pi­rate would do it: They were cap­tured in the lands that pi­rates vis­ited as they trav­eled.

So if you were think­ing that some Hol­ly­wood pi­rates had an or­ange-winged ama­zon par­rot on their shoul­ders, it might be pos­si­ble. But in real life, it prob­a­bly wouldn’t be the same par­rot all the time.

Arrr!

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