The return of the prodigal parrot

    Spooked by a vacuum cleaner, a rare bird and a beloved pet fled the coop. Her owner, a parish priest, was heartbroken. Would she return?

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    Father Mani Malana and his feathered friend Litty, the Eclectus parrot. Litty went missing for five days and – against all odds – survived, was found and returned to the Menai parish priest. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

    Rare bird Litty has done more than ruffle a few feathers at Menai’s Holy Family Parish recently.

    Not only was the prodigal parrot lost during the recent devastating Sydney storms but also found against all odds, five days later and more than 15 kilometres from home.

    Owner and parish priest Fr Mani Malana said despite being hungry and exhausted, the rare 3-year-old Eclectus parrot’s survival was a timely reminder that there is always hope, particularly during Lent and Easter.

    The getaway …

    The colourful red and royal blue parrot flew the coop after getting spooked by a vacuum cleaner and escaped through a laundry door.

    Fr Mani stood in the rain, desperately calling to the little bird high in a tree before she flew off into the distance.

    An urgent plea on social media by the heartbroken priest attracted flocks of Catholics and non-Catholics alike wanting to join the search, however he knew only a miracle would see her return.

    … and the Good Samaritan

    However, what happened next he believes was God’s way of reminding him you always have to have faith.

    After almost a week, a good Samaritan found Litty in his Engadine backyard, exhausted and unable to fly. He took her to the local vet who contacted the priest after checking her microchip.  He said losing his little bird was such a strong reminder that no matter how lost we all can be, we can always be found.

    “I had honestly given up all hope, the Eclectus parrot is a real homebody and Litty is very tame and never been in the wild, so how she flew 15 kilometres over a week in those terrible storms without food or water really is a miracle,” he said.

    A happy ending

    A close working relationship: Litty supervises Fr Mani as he works on his laptop. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

    “Due to her beautiful colourings, these parrots also have many natural predators as well as being very eye catching to anybody who sees them.

    “I cannot tell you how happy I am my little friend is finally home and as silly as it may sound she is great company. We watch tv together and eat all our meals together, she has also even started to eat rice as she sees me eat it.

    “At the end of the day I just hope my story inspires people to always keep their faith … no matter how things are looking there is always hope.

    “I know God was reminding me that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there and that while we can all get lost at times, we can also be found.

    “I now have no doubt Littly is one rare bird.”

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