A New Yorker breathed a sigh of relief when she was reunited with her beloved missing African grey parrot.
Lenah Alshowaiman is a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, and she owns a 2-year-old African grey parrot named Zoya. The intelligent bird would say “good morning” to Lenah when she woke up in the morning and “peace out” when Lenah leaves her apartment!
“I’ve always wanted a bird instead of a dog or a cat,” Lenah shares. “Our relationship is about communication.”
When Lenah took Zoya outside with her to go on a walk at a nearby park recently, Zoya is usually attached to her harness, but this time, Lenah allowed Zoya to roam free on the grass. While they were at the park, an ambulance with sirens on zoomed by and scared Zoya.
“She freaked out and flew directly into the trees,” Lenah explains. “I screamed and ran after her crying.”
Lenah searched the park to find Zoya for hours and returned the next day but had no luck. She then shared on social media and put up hundreds of posters all around town with Zoya’s information on it.
“[Knowing] this was my fault killed me. I felt devastated and hopeless,” Lenah says. But Zoya is not afraid of strangers and I thought she might land on someone’s shoulder when she wanted food.”
The next day, a woman named Liz Franco found Zoya perched on her windowsill. “One of my sons said, “There’s a bird on our windowsill’ so I ran out and saw a beautiful grey parrot,” she explains. And once she saw the identification band on the bird’s foot, she figured the parrot was someone’s pet.
After she searched on social media, she found a post about a missing African grey parrot, Liz called the owner’s number that was listed.
“I appreciated that Liz asked me to read the numbers on Zoya’s band to verify I was the owner,” Lenah says. “That Zoya landed in a nice household made me burst into tears. Thankfully Lenah and Zoya were finally able to have a wonderful reunion.