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Missing parrot is back at Honolulu Zoo

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 9:26 p.m. HST, Mar 31, 2012

An exotic missing parrot found its way home to the Honolulu Zoo this morning with the help of two good Samaritans. 

Acting Zoo Director Tommy Higashino said a couple, who asked to remain anonymous, was hiking Diamond Head Trail when they recognized the red Eclectus parrot as the zoo’s missing bird and covered it with a jacket after it landed on the ground near the top of the trail.

The two, who have parrots of their own, bundled the parrot up and took it back to the zoo in Waikiki.

“It’s stable,” Higashino said, adding that zoo staff confirmed the bird’s identity by its band. “It’s over at our vet clinic, so we’re observing it. It’s been eating a little, perching, alert. It was picking on an apple.”

He said the bird, which had been loose since Tuesday, was being fed juicy foods to rehydrate it and could make a full recovery.

“It’s probably been through a very traumatic experience,” he said. “I don’t know if they have PTSD, but we’ll be monitoring it closely,” he said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Before being returned to its cage, the female parrot will have to go through 30 days of quarantine to check for any illnesses because it left the zoo’s boundaries.

Meanwhile, staff members were still looking for a gray tawny frogmouth and trying to catch a buff-headed ground dove that remained at the zoo.

The three exotic birds — worth about $1,200 — got out after vandals cut holes in 24 bird cages at the zoo between Monday night and Tuesday morning. Police on Wednesday said they had no suspects.

Higashino said he is worried about the frogmouth, which was hand-fed since hatching and probably hasn’t eaten since it left its cage. He said staff believe the bird is somewhere in the 42-acre zoo because it isn’t a strong flier.

“It’s probably very critical at this point,” he said. To find the well-camouflaged, nocturnal bird, staff members brought in night-vision gear, but found the bird’s feathers provide too much insulation to be detected.

At the same time, staff are trying to lure the ground dove into a cage using its mate. Higashino said the staff were able to successfully isolate the dove’s mate in a large exhibit without disturbing a rare nesting of golden white-eyes.

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