Cheeky parrot returns home thanks to a heartfelt community effort
A mischievous parrot that went missing from her Kensington home has been reunited with her frantic owners after being found just a few blocks away.
Relieved owner Rishada Cassim said Lola, a pineapple conure, had escaped their family home in Lincoln Mews on March 22 after having nudged her way past the front door as Ms Cassim’s partner Tim Hutton took out some recycling.
“She just panicked, I wasn’t there but Tim described it as her just screaming and flapping around and eventually flying away,” Ms Cassim said.
Although shy, Ms Cassim said Lola was also “super sassy and super clever”, and had recently taught herself a “new trick” which involved her tucking in her wings “like a little bullet” and squeezing her tiny body through household doors – a manoeuvre the couple immediately feared she had used to fly out the front door.
Panic-stricken, the couple door knocked and handed out posters in their neighbourhood in the hope of finding Lola whom they had adopted from the Kiwi New Life Bird Rescue in Wandin.
They also borrowed a ladder from a neighbour to climb their roof as Mr Hutton, with binoculars in hand, called out tirelessly to Lola who is believed to be eight or nine years old.
“We were so worried, and we heard it start to rain; it was very sad thinking about Lola, this tiny bird,” Ms Cassim said.
“Even though we were desperate for her to come home, she just wouldn’t know how.”
After more than 24 hours had passed and still not a sign of Lola, Ms Cassim had relented to the fact that they “might not get her back”.
But much to the owners’ astonishment, they received a call from a stranger named Nick, who believed he had found their lost bird after posting a photo of Lola on the Kensington Good Kharma Facebook, which attracted multiple responses and the couple’s contact number.
After giving a description which included a ring around Lola’s foot, Ms Cassim replied, “Oh my goodness, you have our bird. We were just so excited and desperate.”
After racing to Nick’s apartment building, the couple found a frightened Lola hiding behind a pillar on a sixth-storey balcony in Altona St, Kensington.
“He said she flew straight into his apartment and shooed her out … but she preceded to sit on his balcony, staring at him through the glass door,” Ms Cassim said.
“The fact that she approached Nick at all just tells me that she was feeling pretty desperate at that point.”
Oddly enough, Ms Cassim said Nick looked “almost identical” to Mr Hutton which “made sense that Lola decided this is the person she is going to trust.”
While a little exhausted, Lola was given the all-clear from the vet and has since enjoyed some “calming” space at home while reconnecting with her “big brother” Nigel, a 13-year-old parrot, also living with the family.
“It was a real community effort, and we couldn’t believe how people had related to the story and how much they cared,” Ms Cassim said.
“Thank you to everyone that was so kind to us.” •