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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
Lost parrot names owner
African grey parrot
The African grey is popular as a talking pet
A lost parrot has been re-united with its owner after giving her name to its rescuers.

RSPCA officers had little to go on when they rescued the escaped pet until he started repeating the phrase "Hello Barbara" after being taken to a caged bird expert.

The expert, Frank Pierce, decided to try and track down his owner by checking reports of lost parrots with the police.

It turned out the two-year-old African grey is called Tarot and escaped from a house in Hooton, Cheshire.


The fact that Tarot told [Frank] seems incredible but he is a very talkative bird

Barbara Ebbrell
He landed in a garden more than two miles away at Little Sutton and was taken to Mr Pierce, 55, who looks after lost birds for the RSPCA.

Mr Pierce later discovered Barbara Ebbrell had reported Tarot missing days earlier.

Ms Ebbrell proved Tarot was hers when she described several unique characteristics, including a missing back claw.

She said: "The fact that Tarot told him seems incredible but he is a very talkative bird.

"We have never trained him deliberately - he just copies what he hears, but once he gets going there's no stopping him."

Open window

Mr Pierce said he was glad his bit of detective work had paid off.

"He's a remarkable pet and I was just glad to bring them back together," he said.

Tarot had escaped through an open window after being startled by a dog owned by Ms Ebbrell's partner John Downes.

Railway engineer Mr Downes, 47, said: "He mimics mobile phones, knows all the cats by name and even picked up saying 'Cheeky Monkey' from the ITV digital advert with Johnny Vegas."


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See also:

09 Aug 02 | England
07 Jun 02 | England
10 Apr 02 | Scotland
15 Feb 02 | Boston 2002
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