In a newly released video Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg has joined forces with The Humane Society of the United States to speak out about the inhumane treatment of exotic birds.

Eisenberg was the voice of a macaw in the hugely successful animated feature film “Rio” which highlighted the trafficking in exotic birds and the decimation of wild populations, and is set to reprise the role in the upcoming sequel, “Rio 2.”

In the video, Eisenberg asks that people think twice before buying an exotic pet bird, as the growing demand for parrots and other popular species fuels the global exotic bird trade and accounts for the countless homeless parrots overwhelming rescue groups and animal shelters across the United States.

“If an animal’s natural home is in the wild, then chances are, that’s where it belongs,” Eisenberg states in the video. “Unfortunately, the demand for these intelligent, complex creatures – whether captive-bred or wild caught – is decimating the wild parrot species.”

Video: Jesse Eisenberg Highlights the Plight of Exotic Birds

Eisenberg’s appeal comes on the heels of cruelty charges filed recently against an Ohio facility from which more than 130 parrots and other birds were rescued in May. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton and the Moraine police department called in The HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team to assist with the seizure of the birds, who were living in deplorable conditions, and appeared to suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, mental distress and zoonotic diseases.

“We are grateful to Jesse Eisenberg for helping us to raise awareness of the growing problem of unwanted captive birds in this country,” said Adam Parascandola, director of animal cruelty investigations for The HSUS. “Parrots are highly intelligent, social, and long-lived animals whose complex needs cannot be met by most owners, which is why so many are abandoned.”

Many of the millions of parrots kept as pets in the U.S. are captive-bred, but many still find their way here via the illegal trade in wild-caught parrots, despite the U.S. ban on their importation.

Those interested in helping parrots and other captive birds can explore adoption and supporting reputable bird rescues and sanctuaries. Visit humanesociety.org/helpparrots to learn more.

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