Bella Sophia (our amazing Moluccan) Posted May 10, 2011 by LuAnn Apple


Such a girl

Sophie, a  Moluccan Cockatoo came into Melbourne Avian Rescue Sanctuary on April 17 2009.

She is known as a self mutilator in reference to the wound you see on her chest.
Amazingly there are distinct reasons this can occur, one obviously would be physical and in most cases a cause would show itself after many tests. Sophie received all the medical tests up to and including an ultra sound.  With that said, the other reason is not so easy to cure and is Psychological in nature. This is Sophies’ story.
Sophie started out in a good home with loving people, but due to circumstances changing she was passed on to another place, and than another.
Somewhere Sophie became extremely sad. She started picking and than mutilating. Some say it is totally hormonal, I disagree.  She was allowed to be herself once again, outside a lot, good food, no collars, no bandages, a long process but the end result is almost no picking at all.
Now comes a few new wound care products from Harrisons, we are using them on Sophie as I write this. With continued use we hope to heal the hardened calloused area Sophie created.
Every other evening I try to sit with Sophie before bedtime to assure her someone loves her. With all here at the rescue this is not an easy thing to consistently do. That is why to a very special person, Sophie will make a very special addition to their life. We at M.A.R.S. are always available for support if needed.


  • Parrotworldnovascotia May 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I operate a Avian Rescue and I specialize in Large Birds. It it totally psychological,I have a 7 year old female Umbrella Cockatoo that has only one toe on her Left and dominant foot, as she had chewed them off when she was owned buy a nurse who would leave her alone for 12-14 hrs a day.
    Much like human “cutters” they mutilate themselves because the pain of loneliness and boredom is so great the need a release of greater pain.
    Frannie has never plucked or mutilated since she has become a member of our education team.

  • Lppatson May 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

     Wow, what a touching story! Please keep us posted if Sophie gets adopted, she certainly deserves too poor little critter!!!!

  • Shelly October 24, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Sophie is one of my favorites to visit with at M.A.R.S. and definitely needs love…I love it when I start whispering to her and she lifts her head up and starts talking to me…I truly believe if she had the right home she’d stop mutilating…just when I sit with her it’s like she forgets she does it…anyone who visits you shouldn’t miss a moment or two to say hello to her!!!

  • amber simon January 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I had a bird like this I few years ago … We had her to the vet twice for the same hole in her chest we had found out she had cancer we couldn’t do anything for her her name was taffy I still have her foot band .. She would bebop say pretty bird and give kisses .. I loved this bird so much she would eat pizza crust with me on family night :'(

  • LuAnn Apple January 12, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Thank you for making me go back and read this story Sophie is one amazing girl and her story is far from over. She has an owner now who just loves her so very much and cares for her even with all her issues.

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