Mystery of missing feral parrot in UK

Tuesday, January 25 2005 @ 01:36 AM UTC

Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger

The owners of a free flying parrot considered "part of the family" are hoping to start the new year by being reunited with their pet, which they believe has been stolen.

Edward and Susan Warner, who run The Railway Hotel pub, Station Way, Cheam, had owned the Amazon Orange Wing parrot named Basil for three years before he disappeared.

They have now offered a reward of 200 for information leading to the recovery of Basil who is worth up to 700.

The couple, who moved to Cheam in February, allowed Basil to fly freely and he regularly roamed up to 100 metres from their pub before returning home.

At night the bird slept perching on top of a door and was never locked in a cage. As a result of his liberated lifestyle, four-year-old Basil became well known in the area and would regularly sit on the shoulders of locals, greet them with a "hello" and laughing along to jokes.

Mr Warner said: "When we bought him his wings were severely clipped but we taught him to fly as his flight feathers grew back. Gradually the trust built up between us and he would always come back. He was a beautiful gentle creature and a genuine character."

The couple are convinced Basil was stolen in October after a man came into the pub and told them "somebody has just rustled your parrot".

The man claimed to have seen someone coaxing Basil down from a tree before grabbing hold of him. The Warner's reported the theft to the police but there is no trace.

Mr Warner said they had not given up hope of being reunited.

"Because we don't have children Basil is more like a child to us," he said. "It's not like you have lost something that can be replaced, it's like somebody's stolen some part of you that can never be replaced. If Basil was returned we would be moonstruck."

Anyone with information about Basil should phone The Railway Hotel on 0208 642 7416.

10:34am Thursday 6th January 2005