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Let’s bring Elmo home

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By Dawn Plummer

I lived in Jos, Nigeria as a missionary from November 2004 until May 2011, and at the end of 2006, I bought a Congo African Grey Parrot. I named him Elmo after the furry red character on the children’s television show Sesame Street, because of the extra red feathering that he possessed. I had acquired a single red factor Grey without even realising it! It was the extra red in his plumage which made me pick him, but I didn’t know if he would keep his special colouring or not.

Elmo became the typical ‘velcro’ bird

Elmo was my first CAG, although I had previously kept Senegal parrots. We learnt together, and over time became really good friends. Elmo would come and sit on my shoulder, loved being on my head, and became the typical ‘velcro’ bird, sticking with me at all times. He slept in my room on the curtain rail and watched the sun coming up in the morning by climbing down onto the security bars, which nearly all houses in Nigeria have. I even trained Elmo to wear a harness, took him along when visiting friends and he took part in work retreats and came away with us for weekends.

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