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‘Romantic gesture’ parrot in escape bid at Selsey holiday park
A husband bought his wife an exotic parrot as a tenth wedding anniversary present – only for it to fly away a few hours later.
Adrian Cripps surprised partner Nikki with the £800 African grey during a romantic trip away.
But a gust of wind blew the door to their accommodation open and the parrot – named Epic – made his dash for freedom.
Guests and staff at Bunn Leisure holiday park in Selsey, West Sussex, joined the search for the runaway. He was spotted a short while later perched on the park’s 125ft high windmill.
A crowd of about 100 people gathered as Adrian, 43, and Nikki, 42, helplessly called the parrot’s name for 12 hours.
He was eventually found in a nearby garden and reunited with his owners.
Adrian, from Hove, West Sussex, said: “We bought the parrot and took it back to the caravan and he seemed settled.
“We gave him his breakfast the next day and took him out on the veranda in his harness so the kids in the next caravan could see him.
“Epic was back in the caravan when Nikki went to put the rubbish out. She pushed the caravan door shut with her foot – but the windows were open and a gust of wind blew it back open.
“Next thing, the parrot saw the gap and away he went.
“She saw him fly off engulfed by seagulls and crows and we thought that was it. I jumped in the car to take a look around and we ended up at the bottom of the park.
“Epic was on the windmill, flying round it and trying to perch on the sails.
“We called him to try to get him down but it didn’t work.”
The couple returned to their caravan as night fell and woke early the following morning to try and coax Epic down.
But when they arrived at the windmill, their bird was nowhere to be seen.
The pair called on holiday park staff to help them make leaflets to distribute in and around Selsey, shortly before they headed for home.
Adrian said: “As we were leaving Selsey we got a phone call to say a man had rung in to say he’d found a parrot in his back garden.
“Apparently he had a parrot of his own and he came out and used it to entice Epic to come and fly onto his arm. He’d heard we had lost a parrot so he got in touch with the park.”
Adrian and Nikki plan to take him back to the holiday park for a second visit so he can meet the staff who helped save him.
Adrian said: “We’ll be keeping him on a harness and making sure the doors are nice and secure.”
Mike Caven, from Bunn Leisure, said: “Our staff are used to helping out with some odd requests but this is the first time we’ve mounted a search for a parrot.”
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