Monday, February 13, 2017

Wildlife Got Into My Home & Killed My Pet Cockatiel

Rest In Peace Dope
The Incident: Tuesday January 24th, 2017

Dope was Gary's bird. His Sister's biological father was a Cockatiel breeder, and Gary had this bird as a pet since middle school. When he told me that Dope was dead I assumed it was from a natural cause, that he was old and that it was his time to go. But that was not the case...

Around 10pm on Tuesday night Gary was asleep on the couch, and I was passed out in my room. Gary said he was awoken to a weird nose coming from the bird cage- and it had to be a VERY weird noise for Gary to wake up because he is a HEAVY sleeper.

He said he got up and found Dope in the bird cage, dead. He said there was a white ferret looking creature in the cage with him that had killed the bird. What happened in this exact moment is not entirely clear to me. For one, I wasn't there. For two, Gary was half asleep and 100% freaked out at the sight he's seeing. He recounted the story as best he could for me. His initial thought was, "Is this one of the neighbors escaped pets?!" He was so confused. The animal ran out of the bird cage and ran underneath out couch I guess, and at this point Gary struggled a little bit, using the broom stick to try and poke the animal. After a chase around the living room, Gary eventually lost sight of the animal and we assume he got back outside whatever way he came in.

Gary took the bird and the cage out the next morning and got rid of it. I went about my day, went to work and when I came home that night Gary broke the news to me. Of course we are devastated by the way Dope was killed. It really wasn't his time to go. I know he put up a fight as best he could against the weasel.

I spent the next 24 hours in a daze- I was mourning the loss of our pet- but also freaked the F out about the fact that wildlife got into my home and killed our pet. So I obsessed did as much research as I could to find out what exactly we're up against.

I spoke to a Maine Game Warden on the phone. The Warden I spoke to was really nice and sympathetic to our situation. He told me it was an Ermine and they are vicious little creatures.

  • Their fur turns white in the winter.
  • They can get into small areas, hence the term "weasel your way in"
  • They have razor sharp teeth
  • The stoat mesmerizes prey by doing a "dance" (sometimes called the weasel war dance)
  • The stoat seeks to immobilize large prey with a bite to the spine at the back of the neck.
Bangor Daily News Photos Julia Bayly
They look cute and cuddley! But they are actually vicious killers.They are one of the top 100 invaders. The above screen shot is from my phone, when I scrolling through Facebook a few days ago. These little creatures seem to be haunting me. We have set up some traps and taken some precautions so that hopefully this thing never comes back inside. In my research I have read that once the food source is gone they likely won't be back. So we won't get getting a replacement bird anytime soon.

I spent an entire day searching the internet for anyone out there that may have had a similar experience to ours, but the only thing I could find was weasels taking out flocks of backyard checks/hens/etc. Of course that is devastating- but I could not find any similar instance where a weasel, or any kind of wildlife, got inside a home and killed a pet. Which is why I felt compelled to write this blog post and share Dope's story. He was an awesome bird and I know his memory will always live on in our family. We certainly will never forget this bizarre story!

If you have any similar stories or experience to share please leave them in the comments!

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