Merlin’s owner in a flap

SITTING pretty, high on a branch, is Merlin the parrot. The seven-month-old Congo African Grey has been living wild in the Highbury area of Hitchin since he flew through an open door at his owners house almost four months ago. John and Stephanie Lavell,

SITTING pretty, high on a branch, is Merlin the parrot.

The seven-month-old Congo African Grey has been living wild in the Highbury area of Hitchin since he flew through an open door at his owners' house almost four months ago.

John and Stephanie Lavell, who live in Sisson Close, Stevenage, were unaware that their pet was still alive until he was recently photographed by Hitchin resident Robert Girvan who had spotted Merlin in his garden in Wymondley Road.

Mrs Lavell said: "We'd had no sightings of him whatsoever. Obviously when he escaped we tried to get him back, but then he just disappeared.


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"On hearing that he was living in some trees in Hitchin, we have since been over there to try to coax him down by calling his name and offering him food but he's hasn't moved an inch.

"He's living quite high up in the trees so it's been difficult trying to get hold of him.

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"He looks healthy. I saw him eating sycamore seeds which I didn't know he was all that keen on.

"It's just that when the weather gets colder, and food starts to disappear, and it starts to snow I'm not sure how he's going to cope. He might be in big trouble so we need to get him down as soon as possible."

Mrs Lavell's husband is off work next week and the couple, whose other pets include two cats and a dog, can devote most of the week, if necessary, trying to rescue Merlin.

"If I do get him back," Mrs Lavell said, "I'll put things on the door to stop him from getting out again."

Mrs Lavell said Merlin has been chipped so if anybody does rescue him they should take the parrot to their nearest vet who will be able to contact the couple.

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