Car dealership criticised over 'outdated and horrible' use of native bird as mascot

Thousands have signed a petition calling for a cockatoo to be freed from a cage at a Toyota dealership in northern NSW.

The petition on calls for the Toyota dealership to free a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Toyota that the campaign starter claims has been used as an “advertising gimmick” for the past 30 years.

The campaign’s “primary goal is to ensure a much improved quality of life for 'Toyota'; preferably in a specialist bird sanctuary”.

“'Toyota' can retire and live out his remaining life in peace, safety and tranquillity, where he would receive experienced care, catering to his unique physical and emotional needs and where he would enjoy the company of other bird species,” the petition reads.

It has been signed by more than 7200 people.

Pictured is Toyota the cockatoo in a cage at a Toyota dealership in northern NSW. A petition is calling for him to be freed.
There are calls to free this bird named Toyota from a dealership in northern NSW. Source: Facebook/ Free ‘Toyota' the Australian Native Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

The petition claims the bird had “no enrichment, not even a swing, inadequate perches including no naturally rounded stick to perch on and chew on as these birds do in the wild”.

It also says he lives “a lonely and frustrated life”.

“His cage is positioned in a car sales lot on the bitumen where he is subjected to loud noise, the weather and traffic fumes,” the petition reads.

One man wrote on the petition the idea of the bird being used as a marketing tool was “outdated and horrible”.

However another man wrote on Facebook that the staff at the dealership “love that bird”.

“It spends loads of time out and about free of its cage,” he wrote.

It is not known how long Toyota has been with the dealership or what exactly his living conditions are.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted the dealership for comment.

A spokesman for Toyota Australia said the organisation is aware of the “claims made about the cockatoo”.

“We have been working with the dealership to assist [with this],” he said.

“A vet has conducted an independent assessment of the bird and its living conditions and the claims made have not been substantiated.”

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