A 4-year-old featherless budgie with a viral disease that initially lived a stressful life with her previous owner is now thriving at her forever home in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.
Meet Coco, a feisty little bird with a big personality. According to The Dodo, Coco and Blue were adopted by animal lover Nardjara Bennaars after it didn’t work out well with the previous owner. The birds lived in a house where there were cats, and Coco being afraid and nervous of cats started to shed her feathers.
“I thought it is better that they stay here so they can relax a bit, and have some rest, and maybe she can recover,” Nardjara said.
However, when little Coco arrived at Nardjara’s house, she was initially so scared that she remained quiet and didn’t play or sing. Then her adoptive mother did her best to give her all the love and care she deserved, and soon, Coco started to sing.
Coco, who enjoys running around the house “naked,” will never be able to grow back her feathers. After a checkup with a bird specialist, Nardjara revealed to The Dodo that they were told Coco has psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), a contagious viral disease that affects the beaks, feathers, and immune systems of the birds that belong to the Psittacidae family.
“This disease was manifested after the stress of the cats,” Nardjara said.
According to the Australian Department of water, agriculture, and environment, this disease appears to have originated in Australia.
The disease “can cause very high death rates in nestlings both in captivity and the wild.” Additionally, the department also states that “it can cause long-term immunological suppression, as well as cause feather and beak abnormalities.”
Although birds showing signs of the disease usually die, there are those that are exposed to the virus and develop a mild infection and recover, Pet Coach reports.
Due to the disease, Nardjara told Caters News: “Coco’s feathers can’t grow. The disease attacks her feather follicles and prevents them from growing.” Nardjara further explained that sometimes she has “tiny head of breast feather that grow a little bit”; however, they tend to fall off too easily.
Despite her condition, Coco remains a normal bird and doesn’t let anything get her down. “I don’t think she knows she is naked,” Nardjara told The Dodo.
The featherless bird also has an Instagram account with over 7,000 followers where her family chronicles her days. Coco’s fans can’t seem to get enough of this cute bird and enjoy watching her running around the house or sitting on Nardjara’s fingers and flapping her wings in an attempt to fly.
The little bird often gets hundreds of comments from social media users who find her adorable.
Coco and her companion, Blue, share a wonderful bond and are most often seen together whether on the couch or on the floor. According to Nardjara, “Blue adores her. He gives her so much attention and he never leaves her side.”
The little bird that once had a rough start to life is now a happy bird thanks to her forever family. “I take care of Coco,” Nardjara told Caters News. “My house is always warm, I love her with all my heart and I do my best to try to give her the best life possible.”