Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 11:42 UK

Divine intervention for cockerel

Basil has made his home in gardens in the housing estate

Tyneside residents are hoping that divine intervention will save a noisy cockerel from being "evicted".

Council estate tenants in Henderson Avenue, Gateshead have been told Basil the "Whickham wandering cockerel" must go as they cannot keep livestock.

Local nuns were supporting the bird, whose early morning crowing drew complaints, owner Joyce Callaghan said.

Her sister Mary, a nun at a convent in Gosforth in Newcastle, told her family that prayers had been offered.

Gateshead Housing Company said as livestock Basil could not be kept under existing tenancy agreements.

Joyce Callaghan, 61, said she believed Basil to be a gift for the community, as he continued to cheer people during this time of economic depression.

Well-wishers are continuing to call at her house with messages of good luck and the bird has more that 1,300 friends on his Facebook page from all over the world.

Fans have also written to Buckingham Palace asking the Queen to back their campaign.

The cockerel has until 21 October before being evicted from his Whickham home.


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