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Depressed since pandemic, Halifax museum’s parrot being shipped to Ontario

A parrot in Nova Scotia that has been showing signs of depression since the pandemic is moving to Ontario for a change of scenery and to make new friends.

Merlin has been the mascot of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax since 2006, but his routine was disrupted when COVID-19 emerged in 2020 and the museum closed.

A news release from the museum says the lack of interaction with visitors led Merlin to snip his feathers, a sign of stress, and the behaviour continued even after full museum operations resumed.

After consultation with a veterinarian, it was decided that Merlin would leave Halifax on April 15 to join a flock of fellow macaws — large members of the parrot family — at Safari Niagara in Fort Erie, Ont.

The release says Merlin will become part of a family of macaws that spend their days in a “lush, secure and stimulating environment.”

The museum says the 22-year-old Merlin is “quite talkative,” with the words “cracker” and “peek-a-boo” part of his regular vocabulary, and despite his depression, he “laughs on a regular basis.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2024.

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