May 22, 2008

You Say Pelican, I Say Pelican’t

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — geoff @ 9:11 pm


Good morning, bird lovers. Aviary week continues as today we venture to the remaining arch at Natural Bridges State Beach. I dropped in early Wednesday morning and the rock was front loaded with my favorite bird besides Larry. I love these prehistoric looking creatures with New York Giant wingspans. The first shot sets up our location along West Cliff Drive and the last shot is from a stormy day last winter when the pelicans and the cormorants were huddled closer together than Barack Obama’s super delegates.

Here are a couple of stories that caught my wandering eye this week and the first is right up bird alley. When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name, address, rank and serial number to a stranger willing to help. Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor’s roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After being read his rights and grilled by detectives all night at the police station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police contacted Interpol and searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said.

He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet. “I’m Mr. Yosuke Nakamura,” the bird told the veterinarian. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs, which included an some early Motown, Ted Nugent and a medley of Barry Manilow hits.

“We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we’ve found Yosuke,” Uemura said. The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name, address and how to play the accordian for about two years.

But Yosuke apparently wasn’t keen on opening up to police officials. “I tried to be friendly and talked to him, but he completely ignored me,” Uemura said. Later, the bird said he had been denied counsel, sleep and bird seed and was not read his rights. He has been contacted by local animal rights groups and a law suit is pending.

Speaking of animals in the slammer, a donkey is doing time in southern Mexico for assault and battery. The animal was locked up at a local jail that normally holds people for public drunkenness and other disturbances after it bit and kicked two men near a ranch in Chiapas state, police said Monday. The animal claims he kicked the two gents in self-defense.

Officer Sinar Gomez said the donkey will remain behind bars until its owner agrees to pay the men’s medical bills. “Around here, if someone commits a crime they are jailed,” Gomez said, “no matter who they are.” When officer Gomez was asked if the donkey understood the charges against him, he said the beast refused to answer and was acting as stubborn as a mule.

The owner, Mauro Gutierrez, told The Associated Press he would try to reach a friendly arrangement to pay the men’s bills, estimated at $420. The victims said the donkey bit Genaro Vazquez, 63, in the chest on Sunday and then kicked 52-year-old Andres Hernandez as he tried to come to the rescue, fracturing his ankle. “All of a sudden, the animal was on top of us like it was rabid,” Hernandez said. The donkey claims he acted alone and no rabbits were involved. Police said it took a half-dozen men, a female dispatcher and a tortilla salesman to control the enraged burro.

Chiapas police have thrown animals in the slammer before, including a bull that devoured corn crops and destroyed two wooden vending stands in March. The bull later claimed the machines took his money without giving him the Red Bull that he paid for along with a package of Peanut M & M’s. In 2006, a dog was locked up for 12 days after biting someone. His owners were fined $18 and forced to watch old Freddie Prinze “Chico and the Man” episodes.

That will do it for bird week here at Sunrise Santa Cruz. In honor of holiday weekend and the NBA conference finals we’ll take Monday off but we’ll come back strong for Wednesday. And birthday wishes go out on Sunday to my lovely wife Allison who once said to me, “You love basketball more than you love me.” And I replied, “Yes, but I love you more than football or baseball.” As I’ve said before, I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic. So have a great Memorial Day weekend and remember while you’re watching games and barbecuing our troops are still in danger in Iraq and Afghanistan. So don’t sweat the small stuff and count your blessings. And don’t take your good health for granted. Most of us are way ahead in a game where the final score doesn’t matter. Enjoy the pelicans. Later, sports fans.

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