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Flighty pets' bid for freedom

PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

AFTER Foster the runaway vulture, Ipswich now has its very own feathered fugitives.

First there was Melville, a two-year-old green Amazon parrot, who escaped on a wing and a prayer last week and is still on the run.

AFTER Foster the runaway vulture, Ipswich now has its very own feathered fugitives.

First there was Melville, a two-year-old green Amazon parrot, who escaped on a wing and a prayer last week and is still on the run.

Then Things the Cockatiel followed suit, escaping from his Henniker Road home, leaving behind his pining mate.

Melville's owner, Barry Hart, tried everything over the weekend to coax the parrot from his new home – a 40ft walnut tree at the Garland pub, just yards from their home in Humber Doucy Lane, Rushmere.

But the bold bird remains in his lofty perch, and refuses to come down.

Melville is able to treat himself to a whole tree full of walnuts, and flies to other areas to sample summer berries. But he staunchly refuses to come back home.

"We have tried everything," said Mr Hart. "It's frustrating because we can see him – but nobody has said they will help us. The RSPCA is just not interested.

"I think he will be OK and he certainly has enough to eat. It's just if the weather gets bad he won't like it. My wife let him out into the garden, as she normally does, last week. But instead of coming back in, he decided to go on a little trip."

Melville is just out of reach to his would-be captors – who have tried climbing the tree, coaxing him down with food, and trying to catch him with a rope.

Melville has a wide-ranging vocabulary and will say "hello" to passers-by. But the closest he will get to the Amazon is the River Orwell and the nearest likeness to the rain forests of South America is Tunstall forest.

Meanwhile, Things the Cockatiel took to the skies while owner Philip Wade was cleaning out his cage.

Now Things' partner Stuff who he has been with for 18 months is pining for the return of her loved one.

Mr Wade and his partner Nikki Nolan searched the area for Things after he disappeared on Friday but failed to catch him.

Mr Wade said: "We last saw him on Saturday at about 6pm in the Waveney Road area and he was flying off toward Bramford Road.

"Hopefully he might still be alive but it is hard to say after so many days on the run."

When Things first disappeared, Stuff stopped eating, but Mr Wade said she is now beginning to come round.

He said: "I think she just finds it strange being by herself.

"She does seem to be missing him."

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