The Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge / Not a rescue or sanctuary
The Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge is not a sanctuary or a refuge for birds, rather it is a way for Mary Bradford to obtain parrots and then sell to breeders.
I re-homed my cockatoo with The Tropics in 2002 because it needed a friend and Mary verbally promised him a permanent home, which was her advocacy. I selected The Tropics because I, after experiencing what I did, realized that birds should not be pets. I called or emailed Mary for the next 5 years to get updates on my bird, and Mary accepted my monies for his upkeep and always said he was fine. Whenever I tried to make arrangements to visit, she said she was sick and couldn’t accept visitors.
Last year, I was adamant about visiting and set a date to come by. Well, she had sold my bird to a breeder and lined up another citron cockatoo for me to view thinking I wouldn’t recognize my own bird! She confessed that she sold my bird to a breeder, but couldn’t remember which one, so gave me the names of citron breeders that she had previously did business with. I have correspondence supporting this.
In my effort to find my bird, I contacted other rescuers, breeders, and parrot people. What they shared about The Tropics is appalling. I wish I had known then what I know now. The Tropics is not a rescue or a sanctuary. It quickly became obvious that Mary is using The Tropics to obtain birds in which she can sell and make a profit.
The owner of a company that had previously provided The Tropics with food and avian supplies responded to my email with this:
“ (her company name)… has supported avian "sanctuaries" to the tune of over $250, 000 over the past 20 years. Now I wish that I had flushed that money down the toilet as it would have been much more enjoyable than hearing … horrid experiences at the hands of avian "saviors" like Mary Bradford. Mary is not the first avian "angel" that we have helped only to find that she sent birds downriver like so many feathered slaves. “
I was contacted by another bird owner who re-homed her severe macaw with Mary and sent money every month for his upkeep. Only after asking Mary did she find out that Baby was sold and Mary doesn’t have records of the transaction.
Mary doesn’t know where my bird is: clearly, she doesn’t have an adoption process and she doesn’t keep records. A volunteer told me she doesn’t keep records in fear of being audited and found out.
I don't know how she maintains her non-profit status since she is selling birds and making money off them!