Slovak Speaking Parrot Proves Ownership in Language Test!
A good education is hugely important. In these days of being able to work wherever you want in Europe (until Brexit anyway, after that you’re stuck on Mud Island) there isn’t much that’s more important than learning another language.
This is especially true if you can use it to prove who your owner is and where you come from. Which is exactly what this clever bilingual parrot managed, possibly saving its own life in the process.
Hugo, a girl, is an African Grey Parrot who was recently found by engineers during a runway inspection. Nothing unusual in that if you’re inspecting a runway in Ghana, or Kenya maybe. But this was at Dublin Airport in the Republic of Ireland, a location noted in many travel guides for its general lack of rainforest and parrotness, as this entry from Lonely Plant indicates:
Dublin: A great weekend holiday destination with friendly people and excellent beer. Not recommended for members of the parrot spotting community.Lonely Plant Travel Guide to Ireland
Kind hearted airport staff took the creature in and flew into action, starting a social media campaign to reunite the lost and bewildered parrot with its rightful owner.
Meanwhile a missing parrot poster had been put up in an Irish branch of the German supermarket company Lidl. Several people noticed that the mugshot on the poster bore a remarkable resemblance to the parrot photo which staff at Dublin Airport had been sharing on social media.
The gentleman who put up the poster, Lubomir Michna, was alerted by Lidl staff to the social media campaign. Full of excitement and relief, he got in touch with the airport and confirmed that, yes, it looked very much like his missing parrot, Hugo.
Things were looking promising and a happy ending should have been only a few hours away. Unfortunately there was a slight problem. Lubomir was the fourth person to get in touch and claim the parrot as his. That’s ok, the parrot was ringed with a unique identification number. But none of the parrot claimants, not even Lubomir, could give the number.
So we are now in a situation where we have one rightful owner desperately trying to get his beloved parrot back and three chancers trying to scam a cheap Sunday dinner. Things were looking bleak for Hugo. A trip to the cooking pot seemed pretty certain!
But there was one thing about Hugo that only her rightful owner would know. Hugo speaks Slovak. She speaks Slovak because her rightful owner, Lubomir Michna, who was originally from Slovakia, taught her to speak Slovak!
So now all that was needed was for Hugo to prove her understanding of Slovak! Voice recordings of Lubomir were played for Hugo and she got incredibly excited, joining in with a wide range of phrases. When she started singing the Slovak National Anthem it was obvious that she was a Slovak speaking parrot. Dan Donoher of the Kildare Animal Foundation who played Hugo the recording said:
When the voice recording was sent to me and I played it for Hugo she reacted instantly and became animated and excited. There was no doubt in my mind that Lubomir was her rightful owner,”Dan Donoher, Kildare Animal Foundation
You can see a video of their emotional reunion below:
So we have an Irish airport and animal sanctuary, along with a German supermarket chain, helping reunite an bilingual African parrot with its Slovakian owner. A truly heart-warming international operation!
If you like, you can help support the work of the Kildare Animal Foundation via their website: https://animalfoundation.ie