Birds in Paradise at Kechara Forest Retreat

May 5, 2013 | Views: 499

Nestled among the lush forest of the Kechara Forest Retreat is a 4,000 square feet aviary between Tsem Ladrang and the Meditation Hall. The design of the aviary was inspired by Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. The metal structure measures 100 feet in length, 40 feet in width and 18 feet in height creating a vast space for birds which have been rescued by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his students.

The liaison in charge of building this aviary, Ooi Beng Kooi, ensures that the aviary is built to provide maximum comfort, enjoyment, safety and care for our birds. The beautifully landscaped interior has perches, trees, plants, Buddha statues, heat lamps, lighting, toys, and a feeding trench. The melodious chanting of mantras permeates the air, bringing blessings to the birds and insects within the aviary and its environs.

The aviary

The aviary roof is 2/3 covered and 1/3 open. This allows the birds to freely move around to bask in the sun and wash in the rain or to stay under the sheltered area. There is a concrete storage area outside the aviary to store various types of food and supplements to suit each bird’s diet. The birds are fed a healthy diet via a feeding trench with drainage along one side of the aviary. Heat lamps are installed at suitable locations to provide warmth for the birds when it is cold.

The feeding trench

Double security door

For safety reasons, there is a double security door for added security to prevent birds escaping when people enter and exit the aviary. The birds are prevented from escaping not as a means to trap them inside the aviary. Most of these birds are bought and rescued from pet shops that did not take good care of them. These birds have been caged since birth and many have been kept in pet shops for years without any space to spread their wings, let alone fly. They will not be able to adapt to the wild if they escape. The KFR aviary is designed with the birds’ welfare n mind – to provide a space for the birds to fly around in safety and allow us to provide care for the birds.

Our Guru, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has always loved birds and does not like to see them being mistreated, especially in pet shops. Among the birds we have, there are two very beautiful African Grey parrots – Aki and Jamyang. Rinpoche bought Aki from a pet shop two years ago. Aki had been in the pet shop for 4 years and no one expressed any interest in him as he was already 45 years old. It broke Rinpoche’s heart that Aki was left in the pet shop for so long in a small cage, with no hope for a good life. Without much thought, Rinpoche decided to adopt him.

Aki

Jamyang, the other African grey, was only one year old when Rinpoche adopted him. Rinpoche was walking around a shopping mall one day and saw an African Grey chained to a perch in a tiny, claustrophobic pet shop in the basement of a shopping mall. It was not an appropriate living space as there was no sunlight and proper air ventilation at all.

Jamyang

There is also Drolkar a quiet female cockatoo who was brought home from a dark corner in a pet shop. She is very independent and we thought she should have a boyfriend so along came Dechog.

Drolkar

 

Dechog

Now these birds are happily living in the aviary in Tsem Ladrang in the city and will be moving to the new aviary in Kechara Forest Retreat very soon with all the other rescued birds currently in the Tsem Ladrang aviary in the city. We are all very happy and excited for the birds because they will have so much space and freedom to spread their wings in the new aviary.

The aviary

The storage area

Inside the aviary

Toys for the birds to play with

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Progress Updates

Photo from antoinette kass
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