AFRICAN GRAY PARROT FLIES COOP, ENDS UP WITH CITY.
An African gray parrot was found flying around Porter Ranch, but so far it's not talking about the identity of its owner.
Animal regulation officers said on Friday they are searching for the owner of the parrot, which they found Wednesday and could be worth $1,000 to $2,000.
``We haven't heard it sing yet,'' said Lt. Richard Felosky. ``If they talk, they are more expensive.''
Coaching the parrot to speak up Friday, Felosky put his pen inside the cage, rubbing its silky head.
``He didn't bite at it,'' said Felosky in amazement. ``That beak is really strong. That's a beautiful bird to be flying around the community. It seems like he's been handled very lovingly.''
So he put his finger in the cage, petting the wise-eyed human mimic with the fiery red tail.
``Aw, look at that. And I'm a stranger,'' he said, as the parrot nuzzled its head against his finger like a happy dog. ``They can bite really hard. I darn near had my finger bitten off by a macaw.''
To claim the parrot, Felosky said he will require identification and the bill of sale, and he will ask a set of questions to ensure the person is the real owner.
The owner is asked to call (818) 756-7713 or (818) 756-9895 to reclaim the bird.
Photo: Animal care technician Sheryl Perez displays an African parrot that is being housed at the West Valley Animal Shelter.
John McCoy/Staff Photographer