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Aditi, adopted on 01/07/07, † 09/25/13
Many budgies get caught in an accident at least once in their lives. They suffer more or less severe injuries, and in some cases they do not completely recover. Some birds remain disabled for the rest of their lives. It's sad that things like these happen, but anyway: that's life. To prevent such accidents would mean to keep birds into cages and not allow them to live a good life with some hours of free flight each day. It's impossible to prevent all risks and keep the birds happy in every way at the same time. What's really bad is that there are budgie owners who don't really care for their birds and because of this negligence, their animals suffer injuries. For example when people let their birds breed on a plain ground and don't look after the hatchlings, a severe deformation of the skeleton can be the result. The budgie who is introduced on this page suffered this fate. Her hips were dislocated and therefore she was unable to walk properly or to fly during her whole life. But she was a little fighter and managed her handicaps very well. But the story that stands behind her fate is hair-raising.
Near the German town of Mannheim, once a bird owner bought four to six budgies, as she claimed. She let them do what ever they wanted. The birds began to breed and their reproduction went on and on and on. The woman didn't care at all. There were excrements all over her house and the birds could not breed in proper nest boxes. When animal welfare activists together with a vet entered the house in November 2006, they were horror-stricken. The whole house was in an incredible mess. The ground was covered with dirt and garbage, the smell reminded of a waste deposit and there were budgies all over right within this chaos. Their number had risen up to nearly 150 individuals. They found the birds nesting between the garbage, on the ground and elsewhere. Some birds have been put into tiny, tiny cages, the poor creatures had terrible fights because there was too little space for all of them inside their "prison cells". The vet found some injured nestlings who had hatched on plain ground. Their mother's weight had pressed them down and dislocated their hips.
One of the victims of being neglected was a young female bird. Her hips became both dislocated shortly after she had hatched when her mother wanted to keep her warm. Apart from the fact that this injury caused violent pain it would have been still treatable - but the bird owner didn't take any notice of the chicks' health problem. Dislocated hips can be brought into their normal position as long as the chick is still growing. Avian vets place a bandage around the bird's legs which keeps them in the correct anatomic position. The bone injury heals and the bird can properly stand on his legs and feet afterwards. Regrettably, it was too late for the poor young female when she was rescued by the animal welfare activists. She was already full-grown then. The bird was unable to stand on her own feet and just laid on her breast and belly. Also there was no grip reflex in both feet. Therefore she couldn't use her toes at all and had no grip when she tried to clamber.
I decided to give her a chance and adopted her on 07/01/2007. From this day on, I trained her legs by doing physiotherapy and I was glad to see how much she liked it. For her, it seemed to be something like a game since she was still very young and playful. After only a few days, her grip reflex returned and she was able to grab my finger with both feet. Still her legs were dislocated, but I tried to train her in a special way so that the muscles would become stronger. After about three weeks she started to try and stand on her feet - just for a few seconds, because it was so exhausting. But at least she tried and finally managed to do so!
During the first five weeks we did the exercises at least once a day. I became more familiar with her and we bonded. Indira and I became friends and she loved to be caressed after the training sessions. She was such a beautiful girl that I chose a suitable name for her: Indira which means "beautiful" in Sanskrit. While we were training her legs, her cage was placed in my living room and she was not allowed to move into my bird room to meet the rest of my flock. But she was never alone because a second bird who has been rescued from this dirty house in November 2006 lived at my place. From the first day on, they loved each other, Indira didn't do anything without her mate Shiva.
After a while I was sure that she could handle her life in the bird room, so I allowed her and Shiva to live together with the flock. They moved into my bird room by the end of February 2007. Indira immediately settled in and made friends with the other birds. It was so amazing to see how she learned to use her dislocated legs and feet to clamber the branches and twigs. Even though she was disabled, her joy of living was more than obvious and luckily she didn't suffer any pain due to her handicap. I'm so glad that I gave her the chance to prove her will to live as a member of a flock even though her hips were dislocated. She happily stayed together with her beloved mate Shiva for nearly four years. And I'm sure they would have stayed together even longer, but regrettably on 11/22/2010 Shiva passed away much too young. After becoming a widow, Indira was single for a while. But not for long. After some time she became the mate of Woodstock who regrettably died on 08/10/2013. Just a few weeks later Indira became very ill. Even though I took her to an avian vet I haven't been able to save her life. It broke my heart to lose her. She was one of those very special birds you do not meet very often. Always so friendly and handsome - I will keep these memories in my heart as long as I live.
Indira was born in the beginning of November 2006 and her colour mutation was called Continental Pied in grey.
Meaning of the name
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