October 1 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Five-day forecast

Video: Belsize community unite singing parrot and owner after ‘evil prank’

Pet parrot Coco with owner Bob (centre) and the people who helped rescue her - (from left) Hally Bowman, Belen Gomez, Rudy Bazeley and Pernille Finess. Picture: Mark Hakansson Pet parrot Coco with owner Bob (centre) and the people who helped rescue her - (from left) Hally Bowman, Belen Gomez, Rudy Bazeley and Pernille Finess. Picture: Mark Hakansson

Thursday, July 10, 2014
1:00 PM

The owner of an exotic parrot that escaped on a two-day adventure around Belsize Park, Swiss Cottage and South Hampstead has said he witnessed “the best and worst” of humanity as he turned to Twitter and Camden residents to try to track down his pet.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Bob Stephenson-Padron was distraught after Coco Lee, a three-year-old African grey parrot whose extensive talents include singing and dancing to Baha Men hit-song Who Let the Dogs Out? and reeling off phrases like “kiss me”, flew off into the distance two weeks ago.

Becoming more desperate by the minute, the Swiss Cottage resident turned to his Camden neighbours for help.

Councillors retweeted pictures of Coco, friends helped put up posters offering a reward and the Ham&High spread social media appeals calling for her return.

Owning a parrot had been a childhood dream for Bob, and he was left feeling one of his worst nightmares had come true when he received his first phone call the following day.

“Someone called saying they’d found Coco and that she was up a tree,” he said. “I was so exited and was ready to race down there.

“But then I heard them suddenly saying Coco had fallen onto the floor. And that a fox had come along. And that it was eating her.

“I was so upset. I thought she was dead. I asked where they were and he gave me an address. I looked it up but it didn’t exist. I was so confused.”

Shocked that a fox may have chosen much-loved Coco as its next meal, Bob could do little more than mourn the loss.

But it was a group waiting for a bus in Belsize Road the morning after the call that exposed what turned out to be “the most evil” prank.

Music publisher Rudy Bazeley, 28, was in his flat across the road when he saw a commotion at a bus stop. “I popped my head out the window to see what was happening and there was this lady looking pretty anxious,” he said.

“I didn’t know why but she then turned her body and I just saw a parrot on her shoulder. I just burst out laughing. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.”

The “anxious lady” was fellow Belsize Road resident and web designer Hally Bowman – a self-confessed parrot-phile who had always wanted one of her own.

“When I saw this parrot standing on the bus stop roof I decided to strike up a conversation,” she explained. I said, ‘hello’. It said ‘hello’ back and seconds later it was on my shoulder.

“Coco jumped onto another woman’s shoulder and eventually ended up in Rudy’s flat where she was later reunited with Bob.

“You can feel so alone at times in London but the whole community came out to help bring Coco and Bob back together – he was so happy when I called him.”

Bob, who works for Penrose Care in Belsize Lane, says the help from everyone to find Coco “changed his life”.

“The fox prank was very evil – but the good side of the community really came through for me in the end,” he said.

Share this article

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead and Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead and Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead and Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

   Local advertisers

More news

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE