Saturday, May 25, 2024

Plea over missing macaw – ‘please just give him back’

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Pablo, a blue and gold macaw, is believed to be somewhere in east Auckland. Photo supplied

A $7000 reward is being offered for the safe return of a large blue and gold macaw which has been missing in east Auckland for almost a month.

The bird, named Pablo, lives in Russell in the Bay of Islands with his owners Lulu and Hamish Peterson.

An incident involving a member of the public on January 29 sparked him to take flight and he somehow made it all the way to Howick.

He’s also been spotted in Pakuranga, Cockle Bay, and Pigeon Mountain.

The Petersons immediately drove south to look for him and have been searching for their beloved bird ever since.

Pablo turned three years old in December last year, weighs about 1kg, and is about 60cm from head to tail.

He’s highly trained and very well socialised and “absolutely adores children,” Lulu says.

Locals have provided potential sightings of Pablo across east Auckland on his Facebook page in recent weeks.

“We got really good at verifying sightings and were able to track his movements quite precisely,” Lulu told the Times.

“His range of flight was decreasing every day and the last day was basically a range of about 1km.

“Then the storm [Cyclone Gabrielle] hit and he went quiet for a couple of days.

“I was advised by a macaw expert that after that Pablo would probably seek out human help.

“He tried to land on two different people on two consecutive days.”

At least one of those incidents happened at Stockade Hill in Howick, which is where Lulu and some of her volunteer helpers based themselves.

Things changed when a veterinary nurse contacted Lulu at about 6.30pm on February 15 to say she’d seen a man with a blue and gold macaw leaving Stockade Hill.

“She was very credible and very upset,” Lulu says.

“She was driving up Ridge Road away from Howick on the left-hand side of Stockade Hill.

“She saw a man in knee-length shorts and a t-shirt and cap walking down the bottom part of the concrete path of Stockade Hill toward Howick.

“He was carrying a blue and gold macaw and she was 100 per cent sure.”

The vet nurse turned her vehicle around but by the time she got to the location of the sighting the man and bird had disappeared.

There have been no sightings of Pablo since then.

The Petersons are offering a reward of $7000 for the person who has Pablo to return him alive and well.

There’s also a reward of $1500 for anyone who can tell the bird’s owners where he is currently.

“We’re not saying this person was intending to take Pablo,” Lulu says.

“He [Pablo] may have just got quieter and tried to land on this guy and he was taken by surprise.”

Her message to whoever has Pablo is simple and direct.

“It may be totally unintentional and you may be in a difficult position and thinking ‘what do I do now and am I going to get in trouble with the police?’

“We’re not interested in getting anyone in trouble.

“I’m fully prepared to pay the $7000 for Pablo’s safe return.

“He doesn’t have to come to me directly. He [whoever has the bird] can tell a friend to contact me, or set up a new email and contact me anonymously.

“He’s not going to be able to sell him or do anything with him because there’s so much publicly around this.

“If he’s got him, please just give him back. Just get in contact.”

Lulu says Pablo is used to being flown daily and with a lack of exercise and mental stimulation he’ll be making a lot of noise.

“He will be screaming,” she says.

Hamish Peterson recently returned to Russell as he had to get back to work but Lulu isn’t going anywhere.

“I’m still in the Howick area and I have no intention of leaving until Pablo is found.

“I have to thank the people of Howick and east Auckland, who have been absolutely amazing.

“The support and love and help have been very humbling.”

Anyone with information on Pablo’s whereabouts can phone or text Lulu on 021 102 9841.

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