The Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is The Tropics Exotic Bird Refuge?
Answer: The Tropics is a wild life sanctuary for exotic birds. These birds can be tame pets, breeders, zoo and show birds.

Question: When, why and by whom was it founded?
Answer: It was founded in 1994 by Mary & John Bradford (although their work with pet birds dates back to 1990) for the purpose of providing a place for handicapped, unwanted pet birds, and retiring breeder exotic birds.

Question: Is it incorporated, and where?
Answer: The Tropics was incorporated on March 2, 1994 in the State of North Carolina. Filing #C-0339846

Question: Is it a legitimate non-profit organization?
Answer: The Tropics, Inc. is a legitimate 501 (c)(3) non-profit with the State of NC dated July 5, 1994 and with the Federal IRS; Employer ID #56-1869732, Case #584119011, dated Aug. 4, 1994 retroactive back to March 2, 1994.

Question: Can The Tropics, Inc. give tax deductible receipts to donors?
Answer: Yes... but it is up to you, the donor, to follow the guidelines set down for donor giving when filing your income tax return.

Question: What about paid employees and board members?
Answer: We have no paid employees.

Question: How is the refuge funded?
Answer: We gave no paid employees or board members. The ONLY sources of funding for the refuge are private donations, our newsletter, our e-mail notices, our web site: tropics.parrotrefuge.com. Grants are available, and we are seeking volunteers to help with the grant proposal writing process. We are also seeking corporate sponsors. From our current mailing list of ONLY 425 names, we have about 200 donors. We also have donors from our e-mail list. Having been a marketing director in my "corporate" life, statistics have proven that you should only expect a 1%-3% return on any mailing done. We are fortunate to have almost a 50% return. But, even at that, often it is hard to make ends meet, so we have to solicit emergency funding.

Question: What becomes of the birds after their arrival at the refuge?
Answer: Our birds are normal as well as physically and/or emotionally handicapped. Upon their arrival here, they are evaluated and those that are pet quality are adopted when possible. Adopters must pass a stringent qualification process and be willing to sign a legal document stating that they will never sell, adopt out, get rid of, trade off, or breed ANY of THE TROPIC'S birds. This document is not only signed, but also notarized. Those birds not qualified for adoption remain here or with one of our other chapters located here in North Carolina.

Question: What is in the future for the Refuge...Short term? Long term?
Answer: Short Term: We are maintaining ongoing education and animal assisted pet therapy programs. In addition, we appear at events such as pet expos, bird fairs, conventions, and clubs; activities directors' and teachers' conventions, schools, fairs, book stores, tourism functions, etc., in an effort to educate the public about pet bird care and the positive affect they have on people.

Long Term: We have built a dome which is a simulated rain forest. This structure measures 55' in diameter, 21' tall and has 44,000 cu. ft. of flight space. It is equipped with heating and A/C, a rain system, drain for pressure washing which goes into a 1,000 gallon septic tank. The floor is 6" thick concrete, walls concrete, has 6 windows, 5 skylights a 20' air lock, handicapped mens/womens restrooms, hot/cold water, utility room, waterfall with pool, swings, ropes, and other things to keep the birds busy.
In addition, we have established an additional chapter, with the possibility of at least one more siib. Both Chapters being here in North Carolina.