Sebastian & The Neverending Story

Written By: B.D. Butler - Apr• 03•13
I got Sebastian here.

I got Sebastian here.

When I hear the name Sebastian, I immediately think of a certain movie called, The Neverending Story. It’s one of my favorite “kids”movies, and I will definitely admit the fact I have seen it probably over one hundred times. Hey, I love sci-fi!

It’s one of those stories that has the under dog, the bully and this book that leads poor bullied Sebastian into a world of fantasy. Eventually Sebastian ends up to be the hero in the end, and of course it has a happy ending.


Of course, happy endings are just in the movies, or are they?

I am a big fan of The Roaming Parrot and one of the women behind it, Emily Trimnal. Emily and I chat quite a bit and the other day I saw that she was going in to rescue a bird. I contacted Emily as the saga was unfolding and tried to give her support just like many many others did. It’s a sad and touching story, with a happy(ish) ending. When I realized that April was here, I automatically knew who I wanted to make the Parrot Earth’s Sponsor a Parrot Program’s Bird for April 2013, Sebastian.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

I contacted Emily Trimnal, the knight in shining Chevrolet, who happened to save the day. I asked her if she would be willing to write down her experiences and how she found Sebastian.

Courtesy of Emily Trimnal:

My online friend Arizona found an ad for a cockatoo for $200 in a local buy/sell publication called the Iwanna. He called about the bird and was told that the cockatoo was actually $250, and that it was cheap because it had a ‘overactive sex drive’ and currently had a ‘cherry’ hanging out where the sex drive is. He requested that they send him a photo of the bird, which they texted to him, and he forwarded to me. It was clear this bird had a prolapse, although the initial photo didn’t let us know how severe the prolapse really was. As soon as I saw the picture, I knew the cockatoo needed immediate medical attention. I quickly scraped together the money, grabbed a friend, and drove an hour and a half to pick up Arizona. We then drove to the address we were given to pick up the cockatoo. Pulling into the driveway my heart sank – you could just feel this wasn’t going to be a good situation. Arizona told me that one the phone the cockatoos owner indicated that the bird was living outside in a separate building. We were hoping that the owner would leave the bird in the building so we could evaluate the surroundings and condition of its living situation.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

As soon as we met with the birds owner she led us to a dilapidated shack at the back of her property. This shack was no more than about 10 feet wide and maybe 12 feet long. It was stacked with cages – mostly smaller birds like finches and quail, and was unheated with no ventilation other than the holes in the walls and the door. We could only squeeze three people in the building at a time, and what we did see was appalling. Only 3 of the dozen or more birds had food and water, and of the ones that did have water, it was slick with feces. Each of the cages were piled high with waste, and the air was stifling and dusty. As soon as I saw Sebastian I knew we needed to get him out – his prolapse was obvious and severe.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

Photo courtesy of Emily Trimnal.

We were able to bargain with the owner and talk her down to a purchase price (what I am referring to as a ransom) of $150. We quickly got Sebastian and his small, rusty, unclean cage into my car and drove off. It was clear this poor bird was not only in pain, but that he had been starved for attention. After dropping Arizona off and making the two-hour drive home, I settled Sebastian in a quarantine area at my friend’s pet free home. We fed him, gave him water, and I gave him a much-needed preening on the head. I had arranged with Vicki of Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village to drive Sebastian down to her the next day, where she would place him into a new cage in quarantine, and get him into her vet immediately. The drive to Atlanta took about 5 hours with traffic, and the entire time there my head was churning with thoughts about the bird in the back seat. His owners informed me that he had been prolapsed for 6 months, that they had purchased him like that because they ‘felt sorry’ for him, and that it wasn’t a ‘big deal’. They also made reference to the prolapse saying they would sometimes ‘put it back by themselves’ but it would fall out again.

Photo Courtesy of Emily Trimnal

Photo Courtesy of Emily Trimnal

So, some of you may be saying, “what is a prolapse?” and a few days ago before Sebastian’s story, I was one of those people. I contacted Dr. Atilla Molnar, Parrot Earth’s consulting avian physician,  to see if he could explain what a prolapse is.

prolapse the slipping or falling out-of-place of an organ (as the uterus)
an abnormally downward position of the intestines in the abdominal cavity
slip or fall out-of-place, as of body parts; “prolapsed rectum”
“In some cases, this will occur if the bird has ovulated a lot. With stress, hormonal and sexual factors birds can prolapse since Waste, discharge and eggs come out of the same hole- the vent. Sometimes they can easily be put back into place with some lubricant, but most of the time the issue never resolves, therefore it needs to be surgical to be permanently resolved. The bird will probably need to go under anesthesia, and some minor suturing and placement will need to be done.” ~ Dr. Atilla Molnar

Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village has taken Sebastian in and immediately took him to their avian veterinarian for treatment for his prolapse. Vicki posted this update on the Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village Facebook:
“The prognosis for Sebastian is not so good, but Dr. Shepherd is helping us work with him. She put the tissue back where it belongs, sutured his vent, gave him some pain meds and antibiotics, and even trimmed his nails while he was under anesthesia…I am sure he is grateful for that. We are going to give him the best shot possible. Hopefully getting him on a good diet and in a healthy atmosphere will help him improve enough where his quality of life is not inhumane. We are always looking at new research and treatments, so if you have any info you can give that will help us help Sebastian, we would greatly appreciate it. He will be going back in for another surgery, but we are going to work with the other issues while these sutures are in place. He is going in the week of the 15th for x-rays, we are checking him for metal poisoning. The inside of his cage was bare metal, and it has been spray painted, so it is hard to tell what he ingested.”
When I was a kid, watching The Neverending Story, things seemed so black and white. Good always triumphed over evil and there were always happy endings. Then you grow up and you realize that there are no guarantees. No guarantees that just because Sebastian was “rescued” by Emily, he will be the spitting image of cockatoo health. No guarantees that the people who neglected Sebastian and let their ignorance and selfishness, will be punished.
However, I choose to see things as optimistic as I can. I choose to believe that if Sebastian receives enough love, compassion and proper care, he will have the life he deserves. I also choose to believe that everything happens for a reason, and if it wasn’t for Sebastian having to endure this, various people would go through their lives never knowing about this condition. They may never have known its causes or treatments. It’s this very view that makes me grateful that people like Miss Vicki and Emily Trimnal are in this world. They will go above and beyond to make a difference in the avian community. To often in this world, we can let the ego to cloud our judgment and lose focus on the most important part of the bird community. The birds.

Click here to contact Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village and help Sebastian… he has helped us learn, now it’s time to return the favor.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *