Pet owner fights to keep government from taking bird - WSMV Channel 4

Pet owner fights to keep government from taking bird

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COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

Two years ago Amy Parker moved from New York to Middle Tennessee to be close to family. She brought her beloved Quaker Parrot, Hoppy, along with her. The exotic, South American, bird is legal in New York, but not in Tennessee. The next closest state where Quakers are allowed is Alabama.

Parker was reminded of her bird's illegal status when Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officer Mark Ventura came knocking on her door with a citation. The government says Quaker parrots are harmful to the environment and especially crops.

"What are our tax dollars doing? I can go a couple of streets from here and buy all the drugs I want. And there is so much else going on in town and they're worried about a bird?" said Amy Parker.

TWRA learned about Hoppy from an anonymous tip. Her owner has 30 days to give the bird up.

"I do have dogs and cats, normal animals - I live on a farm. But I said an oath and my job is to protect the native wildlife of the state of Tennessee," said Ventura.

Amy has started a petition to keep her bird.

If Amy surrenders Hoppy to authorities, it's likely she'll be placed in a zoo, where it's believed it's unlikely she'll escape and join a flock. 

The bird's owner said it's likely she'll leave Tennessee before surrendering her bird.

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