Bird Is Abandoned After 17 Years — Because Her Owner Got A New Boyfriend

<p>Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary</p>

At 17 years old, Benji had a pretty stable life, but recently everything suddenly changed.

Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

When Benji's owner's boyfriend decided he didn't like the pet bird, a Congo African grey parrot, Benji was thrown out of her home, dumped at a shelter. It didn't seem to matter that Benji had spent her whole life by her owner's side.

Benji, a Congo African grey parrot, was dumped by her owner. | Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

Thankfully, the Humane Society of the High Plains, in Hays, Kansas, knew just the person who could help: Kail Marie at Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary in Lecompton, who cares for all kinds of neglected and abandoned exotic birds, providing a home for them when they have no one else in the world.

Benji is 17 years old. | Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

Benji moved to the sanctuary in June, and already she's learning to love her new forever home.

A wealth of tasty fruit and vegetables, and a whole new flock of friends, is helping her heal.

She's learning to make friends again. | Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary
Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

Sadly, many birds experience the same troubles that Benji has, and the other residents at the sanctuary are no exception.

Benji was loved - but then she was forgotten. | Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

"Her feet are very arthritic and crippled, which is indicative of sitting in a cage on a perch and not getting out," Marie told The Dodo. "She is very sweet, which shows that at one time she was very loved, but then forgotten."

Benji's feet are crippled because she spent too much time perched in a cage before she came to the sanctuary. | Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary

Parrots are not domesticated animals, Marie often reminds people, even if they have been born in captivity and sold as pets. Too many exotic birds are neglected or become homeless because people don't realize what they need to be happy.

Thankfully, Benji finally has a place she can call home again.

Click here to read more about the complex plight of the pet bird.

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Check out a video about Javi, one of Tallgrass Parrot Sanctuary's most famous residents: