Pet Spotlight: Kiko


Photo By: Demetri Sepsis

In his dorm room on Dolson’s fourth floor, there’s a picture of a special bird that rests on freshman Demetri Sepsis’s fridge. It’s a photo of a yellow-sided green-cheeked conure parrot named Kiko.

Around eight or nine years ago, the Sepsis clan had done some bird-handling research together, and they decided to attend a local animal/bird expo to give a bird a good home. Of all the birds, there was one parrot that stood out the most. They spent about an hour spending time with the sweetest bird they had seen.

Sepsis’s dad asked for that bird’s name, and the handler said that the bird’s name was Kiko. Immediately, memories of his own bird named Kiko flowed through his mind, and he knew their meeting was written in the stars.

“We found out her name was Kiko, and we just had to have her,” Sepsis said.  

For Kiko, that day was the start of a new beginning. In her old life, she had been caged next to a very violent macaw, one so violent that it had to be sedated with Valium in order to handle it. One time, this bird got so violent, it lashed out at Kiko, taking away two of her toes.

But with her new family, Kiko could finally leave that life behind and live the rest of her life in comfort and proper care.

In the eight or nine years of living with the Sepsis clan, Kiko developed an excellent sense of personality. It’s one that is filled to the brim with sassiness and being shockingly spoiled.  

Kiko also has a voice as loud as her plumage. If she’s hungry, doesn’t get what she wants, or is left alone too long, she’ll screech to her heart’s content.

As annoying as her screeching is, Sepsis still loves Kiko in all her sassiness. As such, he takes care to give Kiko the finest things in life. He gives her what he loves: movie-theatre popcorn, or any other food, and baths.

Every so often, Sepsis will place Kiko on his right shoulder and get the lukewarm sink water running. He fills his hands with the water, allows Kiko to climb down his shoulder, and let her go ham on the water puddle. She rolls around in the water and loves every minute of it.

Most of the time, Sepsis loves keeping Kiko company and letting her rest on his shoulder. He often misses having her around when he’s at school. And it seems he may not be the only one missing the company.     

Recently, the Sepsis family has a cat, and they are working to get Kiko to become buddies with said cat, or at least become familiar with it. They put Kiko close to the cat, and Kiko, being the curious bird she is, pecks and nuzzles the cat’s fur while the cat just sits there.

If you want to pet Kiko, you need to be careful. She is very sensitive on where and how you hold her. Due to her past, she has some trust issues. If you hold her the wrong way, she will bite. That’s not to say she’s dangerous, she’s just nervous and scared. However, if you have care and patience, Kiko will warm up to you.      

“She’s really sweet once you earn her trust,” Sepsis said.

If anyone’s curious about owning a bird like Kiko, you should know that rescue birds could be hard to handle. Sepsis said if you get a hand-raised bird from a reputable breeder, the bird could earn your trust a little faster, since they don’t have emotional baggage that some rescue birds have. 

Take it from Sepsis and Kiko: it’s advisable to take your time with rescue birds, and that patience will be rewarded.