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From the Fringe

Flock of maltreated birds freed from tiny apartment

Hundreds of cockatiels and canaries have been liberated from their hoarding owner who kept them locked up in cramped conditions in a one-bedroom apartment.

Alfred Hitchcock with a poster advertizing The Birds

In Alfred Hitchcock's film, the birds were in charge

The notion of hundreds of birds flapping on top of and around one another calls to mind images from a certain Hitchcock movie, but the director’s birds were almost certainly treated with greater care and kindness than the 500 or so creatures rescued from their Berlin apartment-turned-aviary.

Animal protectionists, alerted to the situation by passers-by who had noticed the dirty apartment windows, seized the birds on grounds of maltreatment and subsequently removed them to an animal refuge.

It is the second such incident in the past few months. Last December, some 1,500 birds were freed from another small apartment in the German capital. According to the president of Germany's Animal Protection Association, Wolfgang Apel, "there's been a marked increase in cases of animal hoarding in recent years."


Editor: Susan Houlton

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