TORRANCE, Calif. – A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner — and the bird now speaks Spanish.
The Daily Breeze reported Sunday the reunion was brought about by a Southern California woman, Julissa Sperling, who owns Happy Tails Dog Spa with her husband, Jonathan.
They originally thought it was Teresa Micco’s pet – another vet known in the community because she had numerous placed ads searching for her beloved ‘Benjamin,’ who flew away in February.
It’s really weird, I knew it was him from minute I saw him.
- Darren Dick
“I heard somebody whistling and saying, ‘Hello? Hello?’ ” Sperling told the Daily Breeze.
“I own a dog-grooming business so we put him in a little cage and brought him with us to the store,” she said. “He was the happiest bird. He was singing and talking without control. ... He was barking like the dogs. I’m from Panama and he was saying, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish.”
After scanning the bird’s microchip and finding out it was not Micco’s ‘Benjamin,’ Sperling then tracked it to Darren Chick, a British man who lives in Torrance.
Little is known about Nigel's whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird's British accent is gone and it now speaks Spanish.
According to the Daily Breeze, last week’s reunion was an emotional one but not a smooth one: at first Nigel tried to attack Chick when he tried to pick him up.
But all is understood, Chick told the paper. “He’s doing perfect,” he said, still a bit awed about the whole thing. “It’s really weird, I knew it was him from [the] minute I saw him.”
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.