Caw-caws: Just when you thought it was safe…

02. 778NEWSTHE toe-tearing terror of Hyde Park is back in custody.

Last week Pinky the galah/corella cross was returned home after he’d spent a few days rampaging through the park. Many trusting souls had approached the bird who had, cunningly, appeared friendly enough, only to fall prey to attacked toes and shredding of shoes.

“He was a bit of a terror,” carer Gayle Wright smiles. “He loves toes and shoelaces.”

A wildlife rescuer for Native Animal Rescue in Malaga, Ms Wright looks after about a dozen injured or too-humanised birds at her North Perth home. She’d tried to lure Pinky home but he’d refused to go near her because, “he knew the game would be over”.

Pat Hegney was working the switchboard at Vincent city council when calls started coming in about a bird chomping on people at Hyde Park: “I was getting calls from people saying that this bird’s been terrorising kids, and come and get the ranger!”

A woman from Ellenbrook eventually caught Pinky, thinking he was her own missing bird. She’d planned to let him go.

“I said ‘don’t get rid of it, bring it to me, I’ll look after it!’” Ms Hegney says. “I had it at work in a cat cage and I subsequently named it George.”

For some reason Pinky’s relentless barbarism softened. “He fell in love with Pat!” Ms Wright says.

“He even perched on her hand while he was in the cage. He was having a lovely time with her.”

“It was like he chose me!” Ms Hegney chuckles. “I’m just a bird person, I’ve always had birds in my life and I’ve always loved them.

“I didn’t show any fear, I just picked him up and cuddled him. He was biting all the other girls at work.”

Ms Wright now has Pinky safely back at home—for now.

by DAVID BELL

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