Stuffed Baby Ostrich souvenirs in South Africa a big No-No

Stuffed baby Ostriches sold as souvenirs
Stuffed baby Ostriches sold as souvenirs

Early November I posted this picture on our FB page. Baby Ostriches sited at local main road Plettenberg Bay market (South Africa) being sold as gruesome souvenirs. The post attracted some attention.

One of our favourite animal activists Sue Randall wanted to take this further. Under our banner Sue wrote the following letter, which we posted on a few sites relating to Plettenberg Bay and the South African Garden Route. The posts were removed.

However, the letter cannot be removed from this site.

To whom it may concern

Recently on Facebook, I saw some photos of items that are being sold at the “Market on Main” in Plettenberg Bay. I was horrified. These items consist of little dead ostrich chicks, preserved by taxidermy. Each dead baby bird is sitting in an open half of an ostrich egg.

Baby birds – of any species – are a symbol of new life and ecological diversity. A dead baby bird is a sad thing, especially when it’s so obviously been killed by human hands and preserved for sale as an ornament. To see a tiny, helpless creature that has been killed so soon after hatching, and has then been pushed back into an eggshell from its own species, is plain bizarre. It makes a grisly trinket.

I, and many others who saw the photos on Facebook and commented on them, find these “ornaments” most offensive and unattractive.

Allowing the sale of these macabre trinkets ruins the quiet and gentle nature of a coastal town such as Plett. Although such sale is not illegal, it is both unethical and unnecessary. Africa has so much more beauty to offer than this. Our animals and birds should be cherished alive, not butchered and abused. I don’t think it creates a good impression for tourists.

I strongly encourage the organisers of Market on Main to relook at their policy about what items should be allowed for sale, and why.

Regards

Sue Randall

On behalf of Chickens as Pets not food – Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation

Johannesburg

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Stuffed Baby Ostrich souvenirs in South Africa a big No-No”

  1. If you truly know anything about birds, you know that many baby birds die without reaching adulthood. It’s VERY common, especially with large flocks for babies to die of natural causes and many of those are used for creative purposes like these. Stop being an alarmist and behaving as if these birds are purposefully killed for souvenirs. It’s not factual, nor based in fact, and is simply an assumption and assertion that damages your credibility and emphasized your alarmist tendencies to see abuse and cruelty in an innocuous reality.

    1. Dear Heather
      If you knew anything about the ostrich industry, you would know that these babies were hatched specifically for this reason. There are not large flocks of ostrich roaming around with creative artists following them to find their dead offspring. I have no reason, nor care to be alarmist, and neither do I have to make things up to be ‘alarmist’ – there are plenty of cruel industries, this being one of them, that gives us ‘alarmists’ enough fuel for any fire.

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