Jesse the nine-year-old African parrot was left grief-stricken after the death of his long-term owner.
When he was rehomed at the Ashley Heath Animal Centre in Dorset, Jesse stopped talking, other than to whisper a small ‘goodbye’ to RSPCA staff. He also began plucking his feathers out.
“The team noticed one day that Jesse had plucked out some of the feathers on his chest and had made his skin red raw. We wondered if he was sick or had a skin issue that was making him uncomfortable, but it soon became clear that it was grief or stress that was causing the plucking,” said Kent-based behaviour and welfare advisor Hannah Hawkins.
“We knew we needed to get Jesse into a home environment as quickly as possible, to ease his stress. And we found that when Rachel got in touch,” says Hannah.
Rachel Leather, a dog behaviourist from South Wales, rehomed Jesse in February of this year. Rachel lives with her family, two dogs and five cats, and now Jesse, who has a large cage and lots of free flying time in his new home.
“Within 24 hours of being home, he was nattering away to himself,” said Rachel, “his personality is really coming out! He loves to make fart noises, make jokes and swear! His language is awful!”
Jesse has learnt that Rachel’s partner calls her ‘babe’, so he shouts ‘babe’ to get Rachel’s attention and then tells her to ‘f**k off’.
“Jesse even watches my partner play PlayStation and laughs when his character has died,” adds Rachel. And when she tells Jesse he is funny, “he responds with: ‘Yes, f**king hilarious!'”
Rachel concluded: “I cannot wait to watch Jesse grow in confidence and personality. We absolutely love him and it’s going to be a wonderful adventure with him joining the family!”