Everybody knows the awful feeling of the loss of anything. But the loss of another living thing is horrifying. There is a sense of detachment and uncertainty blended with a heavy dose of dread. The fear of never seeing something that lives in your life again is…well, disabling. That’s what happened to Michelle Mills, an Australian resident. On March 29, Michelle’s pet bird, Lola, flew from her safe haven of home and explored the world at large, leaving her owner a nervous wreck.
Lola, who is a South American Sun Conure, left the nervous task of a hopeful reunion to Michelle as Lola enjoyed a small vacation. After Lola’s departure, Michelle peppered her neighborhood with printed “LOST” flyers, placing them directly into the mailboxes of approximately 100 nearby neighbors. Michelle also listed Lola as missing in an Australian Lost Pet Finders website offering a $200 reward for the bird’s safe return. This listing did not yield fruit; however, Lola was discovered — and returned — by a happy accident.
A day after Lola took flight, an Australian news reporter was readying for an off-site news report when a bird flew onto her shoulder. The reporter, Brittany Kleyn, was frantic when the bird latched onto her top and refused to be frightened away. The cameraman helped the reporter, who was not pleased, by easily removing the bird. What likely drew the bird to the reporter was the similar haircut and build that the reporter had in common to Lola’s owner.
The video of this interaction went wide on television. It wasn’t long before a friend of Lola’s owner, recognized the 18-month old conure and called Michelle to alert her to the finding. Michelle then took to the Facebook page of the Nine Gold Coast News channel and wrote as calmly as possible, “OMG THAT’S MY BIRD!!! SHE FLEW AWAY LAST NIGHT!! HER NAME IS LOLA PLEASE CALL ME”.
By March 31, Lola and her relieved owner were happily reunited. Lola is described as “very tame” and “hand-raised”. In fact, there are three posted videos of Lola dancing to The Kinks’ song, “Lola” found on her owner’s personal YouTube account. The short videos are the exact same, but are listed with three different headings. They are adorable and can be viewed here.
The story is a happy one. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when a bird escapes. In many cases, the bird will join a group of lost birds and survive. But the loss to the owner(s) and, I’m sure, to the bird as well, is devastating. Please take all proper precautions in keeping your bird temptation-free for a seemingly innocent flight. With years of built upon relationships, a loss can lead to distraught that is stressful to everyone, even a bird.
A video of the encounter with Lola and the reporter, and Lola’s eventual reunion with Michelle Mills can be viewed here. It will leave you with a smile, and maybe a tear or two. (It’s ok. We shed a few tears of happiness ourselves.) An extraordinary case of mistaken identity, the power of television and media, and prayers and hope brought Lola back to where she belonged — a happy accident.
You can read about the Sun Conure species at our own detailed web page here.