A woman had to be rescued by firefighters after getting stuck up a tree in Wiltshire – while trying to get to her sister’s escaped parrot.
Leanne Jones, 32, was eating her lunch with her baby macaw Missy on Friday (11/2) afternoon when it flew away into a tree.
She stayed outside with the bird all night waiting for her to come down by herself but, the next morning, the branch snapped and Missy flapped towards another tree.
Leanne’s sister Toni-Anne, 33, then tried to scale the tree in Trowbridge herself to reach the bird – but got stuck.
Leanne said: “My sister is a bit like Houdini, and I was like, ‘uh do you think you can try and get up this tree?
“It was so windy – she was like, ‘I’m stuck!'”
Toni-Anne became stranded after attempting to climb up the tree in Woodlands Edge to reach the parrot on Saturday morning (12/2).
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue received a call at 9:51am and sent rescue crews from Trowbridge and Chippenham.
They called for one fire engine from Warminster and Devizes equipped with a 12m ladder so they could reach Toni-Anne and help her down.
Sadly, the crews were not able to retrieve the bird – so foster carer Leanne paid £100 to hire a cherry picker and go up herself.
She said: “I’m absolutely terrified of heights, but I didn’t want to risk her flying off. She didn’t budge, she let me pick her up and was kissing all over my face.
“She was freezing cold and very hungry but she was fine.”
Leanne had just got Missy who was only 23 weeks old, when she took her outside to eat lunch with her in her garden at about 1:40pm on Friday.
The mum, who has two foster children and two birth children, said: “She hadn’t flown before and so it was completely my fault.
“I was sat in the garden having lunch with her and she was just sat on the table with me, pinching bit of lunch off my nephews plate.
“She was just eating blueberries and bananas and she was flapping her wings as parrots do, and then she just took off.
“I think it shocked her as well, and then she was stuck on the guttering in the flat opposite my house.
“I was trying to call her down she had loads of seagulls flying around, I think she was like ‘oh my gosh, what’s going on?’
“She couldn’t figure out how to swoop down so went in a circle, she was bullied a bit by seagulls and went over my house by my garden.
“By the time I’d got round the back I didn’t know where she was.”
Eventually, they found the blue and yellow bird in Trowbridge Lodge Park in a tree in a garden, but it was starting to get dark.
Leanne called for a plumber to see if she could use his ladder to help get her down, but it wasn’t long enough. She stayed outside with her bird all night long, only going indoors briefly to use the toilet.
Leanne said: “When it started to get light she started talking away and she attempted to try and fly down, but as she was going towards the edge of the branch part of it snapped.
“She was hanging on by her foot upside down and tried to flap and come back to me but she couldn’t as it was really windy.”
Missy flew to another tree in a garden on West Ashton Road, and Leanne’s cousin tried to climb it but she was too far up.
This was when Toni-Anne thought she could give it a try, but unfortunately got stuck and had to be rescued by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue.
The fire crews were not able to rescue the bird, and the RSPB couldn’t help until 24 hours after Missy’s escape, but Leanne didn’t want to wait a moment longer.
She said: “My daughter and foster son were with me and were shaking her toys.
“She was trying her best to came down, in the end she tried to fly down but then was just taken off by wind to next tree.
“She hadn’t flown before so she knew how to take off and fly, but didn’t know how to get down and up.”
Desperate, she called a local company to see if she could hire their cherry picker for ten minutes, for which they quoted her £100.
Terrified of heights, but determined to get her beloved pet back, Leanne then made her way up the tree where Missy allowed her to pick her up and take her to safety.
She said: “I was shaking like a leaf getting down!
“It really is amazing, so many people out looking for Missy, so many people were offering to help and turning up with poles.
“Don’t assume a baby parrot can’t fly!”
A statement from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: “We of course understand the emotional attachments to pets of any species, but please take this incident as a reminder of the danger posed by attempting to rescue without any specialist assistance.”
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