An African Grey parrot, which was rescued by authorities after its owner aired footage of himself torturing the bird on social media, has died days after being rescued.
The death of Bahtiyar, the parrot, was announced by Turkey’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli, who said: “I’m so sorry. We did everything we could, but unfortunately we lost Bahtiyar. We will continue to be followers/defenders of animal rights.”
The plight of Bahtiyar provoked public outrage and protests after his owner Murat Özdemir aired footage of himself torturing the bird on social media.
Özdemir, who gained notoriety for rude and erratic behaviour on Turkey’s version of MasterChef, which airs on the TV8 television channel.
The outcry over the torture footage prompted the Beşiktaş Public Order Department in Istanbul to detain him for questioning. He was then subsequently released, but his release did not go down well with the public.
Protests outside his home by animal rights activists and the ensuing public outrage prompted a prosecutor to issue a new warrant for Özdemir to be taken into custody again.
Özdemir was then sent to Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital for observation to determine his mental status and fined 5,254 lira.
Bahtiyar was rescued. His left leg was dislocated in the knee joint and there was soft tissue injury on his head. Despite an hour long surgery, and feeding Bahtiyar with serum, antibiotics and painkillers in a warm and quiet environment, the vets’ efforts to the parrot’s life were in vain.
Professor Serhat Özsoy from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Istanbul’s Cerrahpasa University explained that Bahtiyar was taken to the pathology department, where a post-mortem revealed that the parrot had not been well-fed and had been in a weakened state for a long time.
The plight of Bahtiyar has made national headlines in Turkey.
Özdemir is still undergoing psychiatric observation.