ANIMAL rescuers are in a real flap after being tasked with finding new homes for 300 birds – after their owner became too ill to care for them.
All are said to be in fine health – but welfare chiefs admit they have a real task on their hands.
Senior Inspector Steven Gray said: “The lady contacted us when, for health reasons, she became unable to continue her passion for her birds.
“She is an avid bird lover and has owned finches for many years.
“The number of finches in her care simply became too great for her to be able to give them the care and attention they deserve.”
The SSPCA are hoping to find good homes for the birds, which are used to living in large groups.
Inspector Gray said: “This type of bird likes the company of its own species so they are best kept at the very least in pairs, but preferably in larger groups.
“An ideal home for a zebra finch is in an aviary with other finches and birds for companionship.
“All of these finches are used to living in an aviary so we’d prefer to keep them to this environment rather than re-home them to an indoors cage, although we are open to any experienced bird owner contacting us to discuss.
“Ideally we’d like them to be re-homed in groups of 10 or 20, but if there is someone out there with a very spacious aviary, or multiple aviaries, with the capability and resources to take on a larger number of birds, then we’d be delighted to hear from them.
“Equally, if someone can only take one or two, then please do give us a call.
“The more people we have offering these finches a suitable home, the better.”
Inspector Gray said the birds’ owner was understandably upset to have to hand over the birds.
He said: “She has resigned herself to the fact that she is sadly unable to continue caring for them due to ill health.
“She has kindly given the society a donation to help towards the cost of caring for the birds while we seek new homes for them.”
Zebra finches are native to Australia and come in many different colour forms, all of whom have a distinctive zebra pattern on their tails.
A spokesperson for the SSPCA said: “Our staff at the re-homing centre are very much enjoying having the birds around, but we are very keen to find suitable homes for them.”
Anyone interested in re-homing the zebra finches should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.