Avian Expert Articles

From Pub To Parrot Aviary & Zoo

Fenn-Bell-Inn-Parrot-AviaryCompassion for creatures abandoned or lost is a beautiful thing when it is in full display. Many feel the pinch of sadness to learn of an animal with no home. But with limited resources, the ability to assist in extraordinary ways is usually not an available option. However, there are some who find it impossible to leave a creature to the uncertainty that they are often faced with. And then there are those who go the extra mile when such resources are available. One of these is Andy Cowell of Kent (UK), who has cared for as many as 200 stranded animals of all kinds at one time on his farm. Some of those creatures are majestic parrots and macaws.

But, even available space can be severely taxed when there are more animals than spots to adequately and comfortably house them. Several years ago, when Mr. Cowell learned of the intention of a local brewer to shut down its pub garden, he took immediate action by laying out a plan to them. The plan was to use the closed pub as a sanctuary for his rescued creatures. More so, it was a wish to open a zoo for the area to enjoy while providing the best care and homing for the animals. In time, a neighboring farmer had gotten word of the desire to create a safe home for these animals. The farmer donated 5,000 pounds ($6597 USD) to help build a macaw aviary.

Andy Cowell, his wife, Kelly, and their two children live at the pub along with the animals. Among the animals they provide sanctuary to, there are great grey owls, kunekune pigs, a collection of chickens and geese, marmoset and squirrel monkeys, a South American raccoon, and some macaws.

Since that momentous decision, the pub garden has been reopened boosted with the added attraction of the zoo creating a unique dining experience. In addition to the zoo, a miniature railway has been built to expand the allure of the spot. Currently, the Cowells have had all the necessary zoning approvals in order to showcase a full zoo. The only thing left is for the zoo to be fully licensed by the various agencies in place to prevent exploitation of animals. It is hoped that full licensure will be completed by late summer, and that the complete zoo itself can be opened in the Autumn of 2016.

The 17th century Fenn Bell Inn has a large, beautifully paved patio that provides a stunning view of the garden and pond. When the zoo is in full operation, the visitors to the pub will be able to view the exotic animals including the parrots and macaws in the newly constructed aviary. Eventually, there will also be an outside bar, the previously mentioned outdoor seating area, and a play area constructed for the children.

This establishment has come a long, long way from the overflowing farm sanctuary of Andy and Kelly Cowell. It’s amazing what vision, compassion, the generosity of like-minded neighbors, and good old-fashioned hard work will provide to those who have heart. With the conversion of an old closed pub into a profit-generating re-designed pub that boasts of extras like the macaw and parrot aviary, the creatures are guaranteed to be well cared for.

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