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Charlie the macaw
It wasn't a cat up a tree but a chatty exotic parrot that Bendigo Fire Brigade was called upon to save on Friday 30 December.
Firefighters were called to McDowalls Road in East Bendigo to retrieve Charlie the macaw, who was stuck 12 metres up in a tree. Charlie, along with his mate Joey the galah, escaped from their outdoor cage three days earlier, leaving owner Pat Warren distraught. Three-year-old Charlie has been Mrs Warren’s companion since he was young.
But thanks to social media, Mrs Warren managed to track Charlie down. However, after hours spent trying to coax him down on Thursday night and Friday morning, Charlie remained stuck up the tree. “He can’t fly properly,” Mrs Warren said.
She called the Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service and was advised to get in contact with CFA, who promptly arrived and helped her bring Charlie down.
“Those CFA guys, what a job they do,” Mrs Warren said. “They’re just fantastic people.”
Leading firefighter Bob Lindsay said that while they were occasionally called to rescue birds and other animals, getting a macaw out of a tree was “certainly one out of the box”.
“I’ve never seen a lady so appreciative to have her bird back,” Bob said.
He said it wasn’t just Mrs Warren and Charlie who benefited from their help, with the incident giving firefighters the opportunity to put some of their training into practice.
Now Charlie is back home, Mrs Warren has replaced the cage latch to ensure there isn’t a repeat incident down the track.
Joey remains missing, but Mrs Warren hopes that once Charlie’s back in his outdoor cage, he’ll come back to see his friend.
Thanks to the Bendigo Advertiser journalist Natalie Croxon and photographer Noni Hyett.