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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Tributes to parrot park founder
Mike Reynolds with Ollie, a Moluccan Cockatoo: Picture Paradise Park
Mr Reynolds helped bring about a ban on importing wild parrots
Tributes have been paid to the founder of an animal park in Cornwall who died on Saturday following a long illness.

Mike Reynolds established Paradise Park - a tropical bird garden for parrots - in Hayle in 1973.

The park is one of the county's leading conservation and tourist attractions and Mr Reynolds set up the World Parrot Trust (WPT) in 1989.

The 76-year-old leaves a widow, son, three daughters, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

His concern for the future of parrots led him to initiate a campaign to end the importing of wild parrots for the European pet trade and a World Parrot Day was organised by the WPT in 2004 to highlight the plight of the species.

Cornish choughs

A petition signed by thousands of people across the world was handed in to Downing Street calling for a ban on wild bird imports. In January this year, it was announced that the EU would introduce a ban from 1 July 2007.

Closer to home, Mr Reynolds was involved in setting up "Operation Chough" to help Cornwall's national bird which had virtually died out in the Duchy in 1972.

Despite difficulty with breeding in captivity, Mr Reynolds successfully released six birds in Cornwall in 2003 and choughs have recently been making an apparently natural recolonisation in the county.

A statement said Mr Reynolds had made an outstanding contribution to the Cornish economy and put the UK on the map as a leader in parrot conservation and welfare.

"It is a truly rare individual that can accomplish so much with such grace and creativity. Mike has no doubt impacted Britain and the world in a profound and significant way," it said.

Before moving to Cornwall to set up Paradise Park, Mr Reynolds worked in advertising and was responsible for the creation of the famous Milky Bar Kid advert in 1961.

The funeral will be for family only and Mr Reynolds will be cremated in a willow coffin and his ashes later buried in the gardens at Paradise Park.

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