Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Call of the Wild

Saw a poster on a tree in Gellatly Road today offering a £500 reward for finding a parrot, 'last seen in Meeting House Lane' (Peckham). Strangely a few weeks ago at the other end of the road there was a poster seeking information on Freddy, a missing parakeet. What's going on?

Until recently I believed that such creatures were doomed to die in London, at least until some JG Ballard-style future in which the ruins of the city are submerged in tropical vegetation. But then on Peckham Rye last year I saw a flash of green and became aware of the parakeet population living there and indeed all over London (the South West being particularly popular). According to this report there may be up to 30,000 parrots and parakeets living wild, descended from escaped pets. Presumably all the birds in solitary confinement have heard the call of the wild and plot for the moment when the cage door is accidentally left open - looks like at least two are on the run right now in this area.

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