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Instagram school-run parrot from Bedfordshire is global hit

2021-2-16 13:42| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 7| 评论: 0

摘要: A parrot has amassed thousands of followers on social media after being seen going for walks on its owner's shoulder and flying around local parks.Shelby, a macaw from Harlington, Bedfordshire, has ha ...


A parrot has amassed thousands of followers on social media after being seen going for walks on its owner's shoulder and flying around local parks.

Shelby, a macaw from Harlington, Bedfordshire, has had her own Instagramand Facebook accounts since her owner realised the colourful character was perched on the brink of stardom.

Carlie Thomas, who works for an emergency vet, has had Shelby since she was hatched, exactly one year ago.

Her fame was "amazing", she said.

Shelby the ParrotIMAGE COPYRIGHTCARLIE THOMAS
image captionThe free-flying parrot takes its daily exercise in local parks

Miss Thomas, a key worker, takes Shelby on the three-minute walk to her daughter's primary school a couple of times a week.

"The journey actually takes about half-an-hour because people love to look at her and want to know why there's a parrot on my shoulder," she said.

"We get called the 'local pirate family'.

"Everyone is fascinated by her - it's like people have seen a unicorn or something."

Shelby is a free-flying parrot and in her first year of life has amassed almost 16,000 followers on Instagram, with fans from around the world.

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She has been trained since she was young, so can be seen regularly soaring over the parks near the family home.

But she always comes back.

"She's like a boomerang - she knows she wouldn't survive without us, so she doesn't go far," said Miss Thomas.

Shelby, who does not have a cage, shares the house with her owner and children, as well as a cat and a dog.

Parrot and catIMAGE COPYRIGHTCARLIE THOMAS
image captionIts owner is not sure her cat actually recognises that Shelby is a bird
ParrotIMAGE COPYRIGHTCARLIE THOMAS
image captionShelby is not kept in a cage at home and entertains passing visitors from a perch near the window

Asked whether the cat had ever tried to attack the bird, Ms Thomas said she believed her feline was actually a little confused by its feathered friend.

"My cat was a stray and quite feral, and has a huge hunter-drive," she said.

"But I don't think it recognises Shelby as a bird because she is so big and colourful."

Parrot with manIMAGE COPYRIGHTCARLIE THOMAS
image captionMiss Thomas's partner Dan Norrish is part of the "local pirate family"

Miss Thomas got Shelby from a specialist breeder last year, following her father's death.

She said she had always wanted a bird and had researched their care for years, but as her father was allergic to them she did not get one.

Shelby was her way of keeping his memory alive, she said.

The bird, which hatched on 8 February 2020, could live to about 80, said Ms Thomas, who stressed that owning a parrot was a lifelong commitment.

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Find BBC News: East of England on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk


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