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Gulliver the Parrot Arrives in L.A.

At long last Gulliver the macaw is back home in the U.S. Gulliver and his furry pal Snickers the cocker spaniel were abandoned on Fanning Island last December when their owners lost their boat on the reef. Robby and Lorraine Coleman of the Honolulu-based Angelman ketch Southern Cross first spread the word about the animals’ plight, and were instrumental in getting Snickers aboard an NCL cruise ship and ultimately to his new home in Phoenix. Gulliver’s journey was longer and more difficult, thanks to international laws against trading in endangered species, not to mention bird flu fears. And the pressure the Kiribati government was putting on locals to kill Gulliver (importing birds is illegal) didn’t help matters.

But thankfully Laureli Lunn, the Honolulu-based animal behaviorist who worked tirelessly to get Snickers off the island, found Sybil Erden of The Oasis Bird Sanctuary in Arizona. Sybil and her team waded through the miles of red tape involved in bringing Gulliver home — from finding someone in the Kiribati government willing to give him a stay of execution to getting permission from Geneva (home of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) to take him to the States — and managed to make a miracle.

Last week, Gulliver was flown from Christmas Island to Honolulu, where he was then transfered to a Hawaiian Air flight — gratis — bound for L.A. Gulliver will have to remain in quarantine for a month before he can then make his way to his new home in the largest bird sanctuary in the country to live out the rest of his very long life.

Kudos to all those who worked so hard and supported the cause to bring these two wayward pets back home.

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