College parrot becomes classroom mascot

30th October 2023

Animal Welfare students from Solihull College & University Centre have a new classmate after inviting African grey parrot Kiwi to take part in lessons.

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management student, Serene Bassi, has been spending time and bonding with Kiwi over the summer, and Kiwi is loving her new role as classroom monitor.

Serene feels like they have a unique bond: “Kiwi and I bonded instantly. I could see she was inquisitive, sociable and friendly, so we started training straight away! Kiwi was rescued by the RSPCA last year after concerns about her welfare. The College looked after her and then adopted her permanently. She’s still a little timid around people but she is growing in confidence all the time. She now sits on a perch in class and is part of the team.”

Student Serene feeding Kiwi the parrot who is sitting on her perch in class
Kiwi in the classroom with trainer Serene

Kiwi loves being part of the lessons, whistling and giving kisses to her hearts content!

Serene has plans to help Kiwi moving forward. “I would like to help her build her confidence and begin to like men too. I’d like to get her harness trained as although she currently is having a bad moult affecting her flight, she will eventually be able to fly so when that day comes she can be out and about.”

Serene is hoping to carry on training with Kiwi as her studies continue and would long-term like to specialise in oncology treatment.

The College is looking forward to adding to its animal welfare facilities with a £600,000 investment taking place ahead of the new Animal T-Level qualification starting September 2024.

Find out more about the College’s Animal Welfare & Veterinary Nursing courses Animal Welfare & Veterinary Nursing courses