Pet of the Day

October 21, 1999

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Pollie, the Pet of the Day
Name: Pollie
Age: Five years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Ringneck Parakeet
Home: South Africa
   Pollie is the reason our home has been taken over by parrots! Yes, it all started with Pollie.

    25 November 1994: Cindy wanted a pet bird; my dad said he'd buy any parrot we could find for under R100 (approx. US$20). It just so happened that there was this cute little Indian Ringneck (along with about twenty friends) in an indoor flight for only R85. That's it - we got our first parrot, for under a hundred rand! The pet shop owner found out just how hard he could bite!!! (Well somebody had to catch him so we could take him home.) Great, three or four months old and he's already tearing people's fingers apart, have we just bought a little monster?

    The next day Cindy caught him and put him under the duvet with her. Suddenly he was not that vicious any more - in fact he was quite loveable, and no biting. Five years later and he still doesn't bite her. He has learned to trust me as well and allows me to scratch his head sometimes. I still have to be very careful and quick to take my fingers away and out of reach of his beak, as he would suddenly get the urge to attack, and if you're not quick enough.... I have several 'battle scars' to prove this - one of them was a rather painful cut on the bridge of my nose. Having said that we love each other very much and he enjoys talking to me and sometimes I can scratch and scratch and scratch and he doesn't want me to stop. In that case he actually attacks me when I stop!

    In the first two years he was outside of his cage nearly permanently, then he got his ring around his neck and ever since he only wants to go to Piet all the time (Weird considering they are both male). In 1998 he still played on the dining room table regularly (all our ringnecks are in cages in the dining room, most of them on the table). One evening we were watching television in another room when we heard a ring-neck scream - not their regular every day scream but a sound of pain - actually we were used to this sound by then as they regularly pull each other's tails. The screaming lasted longer than usual and I was still 'in shock' from an incident a few days earlier (I was home alone and heard the same screaming, when I got there Piet had got a toe caught between his perch and his cage's bars. I got him loose but was very worried that he might have hurt himself). As it turned out Piet was all right but at the end of this evening I actually wished he had got hurt as, when I got to the dining-room Pollie was sitting on Piet's cage and there was blood dripping everywhere he tried to walk. Piet had bitten Pollie's toe and was holding on to it (we've since discovered that once his big beak closes around something, it doesn't let go!) I had to shout at Piet and hit his cage with my hands to get him to let go - Pollie must've thought I was going to hurt him as well because he was biting in my direction. Well, we stopped the bleeding and, with a lot of effort, managed to keep his beak away from the injured toe. The next morning we took him to the vet, who burned the toe and gave him an injection. Needless to say Dr. Nischk wasn't very popular with Pollie!!! Now Pollie is fine - he has lost the use of the front part of that toe - and we have forgiven Piet for what happened.

    Visit Pollie's webpage for a lot more photos. Visit Pollie's owner's website for more information and photos.

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