When Abdullah Sharaf’s parrot accidentally swallowed bleach, the Gaza resident was told by local veterinarians that there was no way the bird could be saved.
But Sharaf reached out for help on social media and received assistance from an Israeli animal rights group.
Koki, an African Grey parrot had a life-endangering hole in his throat from drinking bleach. COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, stepped in and with the help of the organization 4Wildlife.
Sharaf wrote a post in Arabic on the NGO’s Facebook page asking for help, and said he was very attached to his parrot and will do whatever he possibly can to avoid putting him down.
The Israeli NGO was happy to assist, and quickly organized all required permits for the operation. The owner brought the parrot to the checkpoint Tuesday, where the NGO organized a suitable surgery clinic — since neither of the sides can cross the border.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Shlomit Levy, the only veterinarian in Israel who is solely dedicated to the care of birds and parrots.
The NGO’s founder Avihu Sherwood was excited to be able to help:
“We’ve never gotten such a request, and were happy to be able to take part in something that brings people together,” he said.