“I heard a screech and both my parrots were lying dead in their cage,” Manfred Heinz told North Rhine-Westphalian newspaper the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday.
Chicco, 16, and Coco, 12, both allegedly died when Heinz opened the oven to get out a pizza, he said.
The cause, he believes, was a new teflon-coated drip-tray which he did not realize could release fumes incredibly dangerous for birds. “I only found out afterwards on the internet,” he said.
Heinz has taken both the shop which sold him the pan and the manufacturers to a Dortmund court to sue them for €2,100 in damages, as he believes that one or both of them should have warned him about the effect on birds.
The parrots cost him €1,000 but as his lawyer told the paper, the pain he had suffered since their death was incalculable.
Whether or not the parrots died from the teflon fumes has to be proven, though and so the judge has ordered an expert opinion on how dangerous they are for birds. It does state clearly in most bird owners handbooks, however, bird cages should not be kept in a kitchen for that very reason.
This could be used against Heinz in court, in that as a bird keeper he should have realized the risks.
Heinz suggested exhuming Chicco and Coco to perform definitive tests, but judge Josef Knierbein politely vetoed the idea, “let's leave the birds in peace,” he said.