In Search of Zuri
Chesterland, Ohio, USA
This page is devoted to the search for my lost African Grey parrot, Zuri. Zuri flew away from his home on June 21, 2002. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please e-mail me. There is a reward for his safe return, or information leading to his safe return. No questions asked.
Zuri is an approximately 15 year old, male, African Grey parrot. He has been with me for almost 12 years. He took off from my house in western Chesterland, towards Hawken School and the Chagrin River Valley on Friday, June 21, 2002. Even though some time has passed, odds are that Zuri is alive and hanging out with other birds. Winter is coming, and while it is possible for him to survive our winters with some food and shelter, it would be much better if he would return home.
Zuri is about the size of a large Morning Dove. His body is gray, and he has a bright red tail. Other than his black hooked beak, and white facial mask, he has no other coloration. No greens or blues or yellows. His beak is hooked, not pointed. He has no long tail feathers or any display on his head.
The best way to detect Zuri is either his bright red tail, or, his human-like whistling, which will carry hundreds of feet. If you get close enough, you can hear him talk, and even laugh. He may be especially vocal at sunrise or sunset. If you have a birdfeeder, he may show up. He loves seed, especially sunflower seed. If you spot or hear Zuri, please send me e-mail and I will be there to get him home.
As winter approaches, he may be more tempted to seek out humans and their birdfeeders. Even if it's months from now, he may finally make his appearance.
Zuri flew away on Friday, June 21, 2002. He took off flying due west from the intersection of Sherman and Stockbridge Roads in Chesterland. The continuation of that line would take him over Hawken School, then County Line Road, and eventually down to the Chagrin River (see map below).
Immediately after Zuri flew off, I begin to stuff mailboxes with flyers, and put up flyers in various stores and businesses. Although there have been many calls, there were only two likely spottings.
Nine days after he left, laughing was heard in a tree at sunrise. Since most animals and plants don't laugh, but Zuri does, this seemed like a probable sighting! This was in the area of Wilson Mills and Brigham Roads. The very next afternoon there was a possible sighting right on the bridge over the Chagrin River where Wilson Mills crosses Chagrin River Road. Spottings in nearly the same area, two days in a row, seemed to be reliable reports.
One is tempted to draw a line between my house, and those points, and assume that Zuri was headed in that direction. If that's true, then he would be going into the Metropark. While that's a large area, it is full of people doing many things. I've been told by the park rangers there that if anything appears out of the ordinary, they will hear about it. If he went beyond the park he would be back into civilization, where being spotted would be much easier.
As this point in time, about two months have passed since those sightings. My hope is that Zuri has found an area with food, water, and shelter, and probably a flock of some local birds. It's possible that he would stay in that area, since there's little reason to leave. This is the only positive scenario that explains the lack of further sightings.
More history and background on Zuri and his time with me can be found on my personal web pages.
Although Zuri has spent most of his life with humans, he will adapt to life outside, since, well, he's a bird. Although anything could have happened, there are three likely outcomes.
According to experienced bird behaviorists I've contacted, Zuri is probably within 5 miles of my house. Since he took off to the west, and the only spots were down at the Chagrin River, I have concentrated my search in that direction, although he certainly could have come back to the east.
Here's a map of the local area.
|The Local Area|
I live near the red star. Zuri took off along the red line. Of course I have no idea how far he flew on that line. The spots, 9 days later, were near the red circle.
At this point, I am most interested in the large blocks of land which I have labeled A, B, and C. These are interesting areas because they are large, in the general area, and for the most part open (without homes or humans). Here is where I will ask a favor of my reader. If you live in blocks A, B, or C, and you are near large private areas that aren't near the roads, please contact me. I would like to get your permission to walk through as much of that area as I can, doing my whistling and listening for his reply. Those areas represent likely areas of food, water, and shelter. Thank you.
Here are some Zuri pictures. Please click on a picture for a larger view.
African Grey parrots are considered to be the best talkers of all of the bird species. They are tape recorders, and they mimic the voices and sounds around them.
From a distance you should be able to hear him whistle. He will whistle melodies. He uses a lot of vibrato. Zuri laughs, in exactly my voice. Zuri will also say:
He says a number of different things, but these little phrases seem to pop out many times a day.
If you have any information about Zuri, please e-mail email@example.com. My personal web pages have more information on Zuri.
Last update: Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:16 PM