Welcome to the Sarasota Parrot Conservatory

We are a nonprofit 501c3 dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing haven for our parrots. We rescue and care for relinquished parrots while offering Avian-Assisted therapy to individuals who have been traumatized. Our therapeutic and enriching experience helps heal both the parrots and individuals who visit us.

A group of parrots standing on the ground.

About our Founder

Greg Para holds an AAS in Electrical Technology and a BAS in Liberal Arts with a major in business. He is a Certified Avian Specialist (CAS) through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and holds an AFA Certified Aviculturist, Level II certification through The American Federation of Aviculture, Inc.

Prior to founding Sarasota Parrot Conservatory Inc. in 2013 and during its early years he volunteered with Save Our Seabirds, Birds of Paradise, and Big Cat Habitat. He spent time caring for their parrots and educating the public regarding what it takes to care for a parrot. In 2017 he focused on building Sarasota Parrot Conservatory in which he now runs full time.

Prior to getting involved in the rescue of parrots Greg held several senior management positions over a 17-year career with Fortune 500 companies managing multi-million-dollar organizations and became an expert in turning poor performing organizations around to profitability. He believes his years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Supply Management and Customer Service has put him into the perfect position to use his skills coupled with his passion to develop an organization that will carry on caring for the rescued parrots long after he is gone.

He retired from the military after a 17-year career and is a disabled veteran from injuries received in Afghanistan. He used his work with parrots to create an Avian Therapy program that partners combat veterans suffering from PTSD with parrots who have been traumatized; helping both human and parrot to heal.

He authored the Avian Therapy chapter in the recently published book titled “Animal Assisted Therapy use Application by Condition” and has been featured on Animal Planet’s Collar of Duty season two series for his work with avian therapy.

A man with a beard and a parrot on his shoulder
A man with a hat and a parrot

Our History

For years Greg was a Navy reservist who served as the official liaison between the legal system and veterans in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties. Whenever a veteran got in trouble with the law, Para got a call, usually twice a day. With scores of social services and community resources on speed dial, Para found assistance for virtually every sort of predicament.

During this time Greg had a vision for avian therapy that he suspected could turn the corner on the epidemic of veteran suicides sweeping the United States. He realized the therapeutic value of parrots helping him to ease the effects of PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

In 2013 Upon returning from deployment in Afghanistan Greg Para founded the Sarasota Parrot Conservatory. A documentary on Animal Planet highlights his personal journey leading veterans to relieve their suffering through his avian therapy program

Today the Sarasota Parrot Conservatory Inc. is a parrot rescue and sanctuary that is dedicated to offering a permanent home to relinquished parrots. As a part of the parrot’s healing process resident parrots work with humans who have also been traumatized to help them feel better by providing a therapeutic and enriching experience, which in turn helps to heal the parrots.

The meet our residents link will go to the animal photos and stories covered in the last email and both documents provided. Next text is the intro paragraph for meet our residents and copies of the text for the animals that has already been provided.

All of the Parrots and animals have come to live with us, so that they would have a safe haven filled with love that they can call their forever home. Our parrots and animals get daily interaction from volunteers and visitors as well as their full time caretakers, as well as regular medical checkups with our veterinarian teams.

Redonkulous came to us via a local rescue that had received him from the Peaceful Valley Donkey Ranch in Texas. Their organization rescues donkeys and puts them through a program where they are acquainted with people. They are given all of the necessary shots, they get fixed, their hooves are trimmed, and their teeth are floated. Then they are sent to local rescues across the country to be adopted.

Since living at the Sarasota Parrot Conservatory, Redonkulous has become best friends with Nick, our horse. Together they have done a wonderful job keeping all of the predators away from the rest of our rescued animals.

A man with a hat and a parrot

Honkers our male goose and his mate Mama Goose came to the Sarasota Parrot Conservatory from a homeowner who had purchased land and indicated the geese had been living in a pond on their property with the previous owners for 8 years and were left there. The new owner's dogs would chase them so they asked if we could take them in. They now perform guard duty letting us know whenever anyone comes to our gate. Honkers follows me everywhere and loves to sit on my lap and be petted.

Sheldon is our male African Sulcata Tortoise. We took in a group of parrots from a couple and Sheldon became part of the package. He was raised with dogs and parrots so is comfortable walking about and engaging with them. Sheldon comes when you call his name, and he wiggles his butt when you rub the back of his shell.

Mort and Macon were both born in October. Mort came to us in 2019 and Macon in 2020. While Mort is a male Juliana mix Macon is a potbelly and both have found a way to reach 300 pounds. There is plenty of natural food like grass, roots, tubulars, and palm nuts at the sanctuary that they only get a total half cup of protein feed a day. Both are house trained and once in a while come in from the heat or when it is very cold otherwise they enjoy their sanctuary.

Walter the Pig, a longtime friend of the Conservatory, came to live with us when his owner was relocated to a new city and she couldn’t bring him with. Since living with us Walter has become best friends with Wallace the Warthog. They eat, play and rest together and Walter is enjoying the interaction he receives with all of the animals. His owner gets regular videos and photos and she believes Walter is living his best life here with us.

Meet Some Of Our Parrots

A parrot sitting on top of a branch.

Casey is our 26-year-old Blue & Gold Macaw who has had one owner since birth. Due to serious health issues Casey's owner rehomed him. She said that despite the best veterinary care he has been a plucker his whole life. However, he is happy as can be and loves to be with the flock and be held by people.

A pink bird standing on top of a wooden table.

Pinky is our rose breasted cockatoo, age unknown, who came to us with Ouiji, our male eclectus. She has one eye but has adjusted quite well in the lanai aviary with a dozen other parrots. We aren't sure what happened to her eye as there wasn't much history given to us.

Two parrots are eating fruit from a feeder.

Napoleon a male military macaw and his female mate Opera, a blue and gold macaw, came to us from an owner in Texas who needed a secure place for his beloved parrots. Both parrots are in their 20's. The owner originally placed them in two different sanctuaries in Texas and when conducting unannounced visits found them in dirty conditions and being given seed and chicken feed. He found us on the web and drove 32 hours straight to rehome them at our sanctuary. We send frequent updates via Facebook messenger, and they provide monthly support for their parrots. Once they are in a position to have a home they are welcome to have their babies back otherwise the pair will be here in their forever

A red and blue parrot sitting on top of a cage.

Ruby, our female eclectus, originally came to us for boarding because her owner had a stroke and needed to recover in a rehabilitation center. When we were contacted by the owner about the cost for boarding we were told of the circumstances, and we offered to board Ruby for free. Unfortunately, the owner ended up passing away and she was the only owner Ruby had ever had for 35 years.

Wallace the Warthog !!

Wallace came to live at Sarasota Parrot Conservatory on January 4th 2022. He was just three weeks old weighing one pound. Wallace has grown up at the sanctuary with two young Jack Russel terriers and has exhibited numerous dog like behaviors due to this environment. He plays with stuffed animals, chews a rubber bone, hops on the couch to watch television to take naps and plays chase with the dogs. He has also befriended all of the other animals at the sanctuary and is very gentle around all of them. Known for their menacing look and aggressive behavior in the wild; it has been a surprise to the millions who watch him on Tik Tok at how docile and domesticated he is. Currently, Wallace sleeps inside the residence located on the Conservatory and is house trained. According to his owner, Wallace had a sister who died months after her birth for unknown reasons. He currently has 120,000 Tik Tok followers and averages over 3 million views a week.

A large gray animal walking across the grass.