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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Gismo gagged by house fire
African orange-bellied parrot
African orange-bellied parrots are very rare
A talking parrot has been struck dumb following a fire at her owner's house.

Gismo, the Arican orange-bellied parrot, has kept her beak shut since the fire at the house in North Tyneside on Monday.

Gismo's owner, Peter Johnson, 42, saved the rare parrot from the flames, leaving his girlfriend upstairs asleep.

Mr Johnson said the usually chatty Gismo has not uttered a squawk since.


She is so nervous now, she used to fly around and when I came into the room but she doesn't now

Peter Johnson, parrot owner

He said: "The first thing I thought was not to save myself or my girlfriend but to get the parrot away.

"My first priority was Gismo - it sounds stupid but she is my baby as I have no kids.

"My girlfriend was not very happy about it."

Mr Johnson's home in Martin Road, Howdon, North Tyneside was wrecked by the fire, but he managed to escape with 33-year-old girlfriend Sharon Flaherty.

But since the trauma of Monday's fire Gismo has not spoken a word.

'In shock'

Her repertoire usually includes "hello", "good morning" and "how are you" as well as "Peter" and "Sharon".

Gismo has since been rehomed with a friend while Peter finds alternative accommodation.

Mr Johnson said: "She is definitely in shock.

"She is so nervous now, she used to fly around and when I came into the room but she doesn't now.

"I have to go to her."


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See also:

10 Apr 02 | Scotland
15 Feb 02 | Boston 2002
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