Thursday 8 December 2016

Missing Donegal parrot tracked down because he kept talking to himself

Ian Begley

Published 22/10/2016 | 16:11

Smokey Joe
Smokey Joe

A BELOVED parrot that went missing from his Donegal home last week has been found in a nearby forest... chatting away to himself.

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Smokey Joe, a two year old African Grey parrot, made his escape from his home outside Letterkenny last Saturday, while being let out for air.

His owners Gerard and Margaret O’Loan were left devastated by his disappearance and a number of searches were launched. 

But it wasn’t until a full week later that Smokey Joe was located.

Speaking to Independent.ie Gerard said: “I had him out on our doorstep to let him have a bit of a walk, but out of nowhere he started to fly away. He had never done anything like this before so naturally I was very surprised.

“I searched for him all day until the night, but there was no sign of him anywhere. I even went on the radio to make an appeal to locals living in the area to look out for him.

“The house was so lonely without him because myself and my wife are used to him chatting away to us all the time.

“Whenever we come down in the mornings Smokey Joe would shout “good morning, good morning” and whenever we'd head to bed he would say “goodnight, sport”.

“Some of the other things he’d regularly say are "Smokey likes crisps" and "Smokey is a rascal".

With hopes of finding the talkative parrot dwindling by the day, a local boy working on Gerard’s farm heard the distinctive chirping of Smokey Joe coming from the woods.

“Once I received this information I immediately went to the forest behind the farm to have a look for him.

“I began shouting his name in the woods and could hear him reply “good morning, good morning”

“After a bit of a struggle we finally managed to catch him – I just put out my hand and he stepped right onto it.

“He seemed to be in very good form and kept saying 'hello'.

“We’re so happy he came back and we know now that he has his own notions so we’ll make sure to keep a close eye on him in future.”

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