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Archive for Tuesday, March 10, 1998

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March 10, 1998

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A local pet store owner is worried about the welfare of a stolen exotic pet.

He's 6 months old, can make a wolf whistle and is learning to say ``Polly want a cracker.''

He's also worth $1,200.

A baby parrot is missing from a south Lawrence pet store.

``It's a mysterious disappearance,'' Lawrence Police Sgt. George Wheeler said Monday.

The double yellowhead Amazon parrot was apparently stolen sometime between noon and 2 p.m. Friday from Pet World, 711 W. 23rd, Suite 26.

Wheeler said police are investigating the theft.

Tim Emerson, store owner, said the last time the exotic bird was seen was Friday morning, when it was hand-fed by a store employee.

``These birds are in open playpens in the store, so people interact with them. It helps keep the birds tame. All the birds we have are hand-fed, so they are really tame,'' Emerson said.

The parrot, who doesn't have a name, is about 12 inches tall, has a green body, a yellow head, a bone-colored beak and a pointed tail.

``It's a baby,'' Emerson said. ``It's a bird that is still being hand-fed with us twice a day. Without it being hand-fed, the chances are it will die. It eats a special parrot baby formula you have to feed through a syringe.''

He said the bird is being weaned and picks at seeds.

Amazon parrots take about two years to mature and can live to be 70 years old, Emerson said.

``I would sure hope the person who took it would do what they could to maintain it,'' he said. ``I would imagine a person who took it wouldn't know how to care for it.''

Emerson said if anyone has information about the bird, they should contact him at the store, 841-7476.

``I'm worried about the welfare of the bird,'' he said. ``Anything anybody could do to help us get him back so he won't die would be appreciated.''

Emerson said the bird was just learning to talk.

``The first thing people teach him is to say `Polly want a cracker,''' Emerson said. ``He also was learning to say `hello' and a wolf whistle.''

Emerson said after the bird disappeared, employees searched the store before calling police. He said generally, if the birds get out of their playpen area they are so tame they will walk up to someone.

``They won't squawk if you pick them up,'' he said.

-- Dave Toplikar's phone message number is 832-7151. His e-mail address is toplikar@ljworld.com.

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