Montreal

Zoo owners desperate to find Paco the stolen parrot

The sociable star of Perroquetes en folie, Paco the Alexandrine parakeet, has been stolen for the second time in five years.

Facebook post offers ultimatum: ‘You have 24 hours to return Paco’

Paco the Alexandrine parakeet was stolen from Perroquetes en folie Aug. 13 around 4:45 p.m. (Perroquetes en folie/Facebook)

The sociable star of Perroquetes en folie, Paco the Alexandrine parakeet, has been stolen for the second time in five years.

In a viral Facebook post, the St-Placide parrot zoo and refuge, about 70 kilometres west of Montreal, tells the parrot thief to bring Paco home right away or police will be called.

"We are giving you 24 hours to return our bird or we will be forced to report you to police," the Perroquets en folie post warns.

"Bring back Paco safe and sound!"

Paco called 'too trusting'

According to the owner of Perroquetes en folie, Melie Breton, someone went into Paco's cage around 4:45 p.m. Saturday and took him.

The robbery was seen in security video footage which the team reviewed after noticing Paco wasn't in his cage Sunday morning.

Breton suspects a family who started asking a lot of questions about breeding parrots just before closing time on Saturday may have been acting as a distraction so the thief could get to Paco's cage.

In the security footage from that same time, a man snuck into Paco's cage and took him.

In this still from the Perroquetes en folie security camera, owner Melie Breton says a man is seen going into Paco's cage and taking him. (Perroquetes en folie/Facebook)

Breton thinks the two events may be linked and that the person, or people, who took Paco may be hoping to breed him. She said young Alexandrine parakeets are typically sold for between $800 and $1,200.

Breton said Paco's easy-going nature makes him a target for theft. She said he's very trusting of people and that this isn't the first time he's been stolen.

Stolen 5 years ago, made alarm noises

Breton said Paco made a beeping sound like an alarm system after being stolen five years ago. People in the area where he was being kept heard it and called police.

Breton suspects he had at one point been kept near an alarm system which led to his unique song.

Paco is considered one of the stars of Perroquetes en folie, where visitors can feed the birds, and on hot days, shower them with water. (perroquetsenfolie.com)

In the Facebook post, Perroquetes en folie says that parrots suffer from sudden changes in their environment.

"Some people think these big-hearted creatures are objects. They are not! They can be traumatized and feel fear," the post states.

Breton said that if the robber returns Paco now they will take him back, no questions asked.

Listen to CBC Montreal's Daybreak at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15 to hear Perroquetes en folie's Melie Breton speak about the parrotnapping

with files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak

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