Wonderful stories about the humanity of our pets, and their ability to mimic us in the most incredible ways, seem to arrive when we are in need of them most. While there are many animals that delight us, astound us, and love us unequivocally, one species that gets the pistons in our hearts to working in overdrive are the exotic birds, of which there are many varieties. In this case, let’s tell a remarkable true story about an African grey parrot who flew away from his home in Torrance, California.
The parrot, known as Nigel, flew a path known only to himself, eventually—and some four years later—landing outside the home of a pet-care specialist. After a lot of chattering and whistling, even "barking like the dogs," the good Samaritan acquired the bird’s trust, and eventually began a search for the owner that must be out there — somewhere.
After extensive searching via online resources, a possible lead came into view with an owner who was looking for a lost bird. After connecting, it was realized that the parrot was not the one hoped for. However, it was soon realized that the parrot had a microchip embedded in its leg.
The disappointed woman, who realized that the bird was not the one she sought, took on the responsibility of searching further for the real owner based on the strength of the embedded microchip. Unfortunately, the microchip did not contain the needed information as it was never completely registered to the original owner. The pet store that the chip registered to still maintained old sales records, and, thus, the actual owner was promptly determined.
As tangles will have it, the phone numbers had gone away, making contact via phone impossible. The only thing left was to pay a visit to the actual owner’s home in the hope that they still lived there. Upon their arrival, the owner of Nigel answered the door. The person bringing the parrot asked if they were missing a bird, to which was replied, "No." After all, four years is a long time. After the realization that this wasn’t a question intended for a recent loss, he remembered that he had lost a parrot years earlier.
Needless to say, the owner was pleased to have Nigel back, even with a new tweak. Nigel, in addition to the perfectly mimicked British accent of his owner, now knew some Spanish. Wherever the bird spent the majority of its four years, it learned to say Spanish phrases like “What happened?”
An important thing to bring away from this heartwarming story is to be sure that you completely tether your existing location information to the microchip that resides in your pet. If your pet ever gets lost, this can be the quickest method of a reunion available to you.
Update: The Daily Breeze, of Torrance, California, is reporting that Nigel's original owner, British-born Darren Chick, has decided that Nigel should return to the Spanish-speaking family who have cared for him for the past four years. The family is overjoyed.