Friday, November 25, 2005
A foul-mouthed Royal Navy parrot has swapped a life on the ocean wave for shore leave — on doctor’s orders.
Sunny the parrot began to feel unwell during her long stint as a mascot on board HMS Lancaster. Sailors in the warship feared the worst when the usually lively bird became withdrawn and agitated. The six-year-old African Grey, who has been known to swear at and abuse top brass, became so unhappy that she started to pluck out her feathers. A vet decided that Sunny would benefit from a year or two ashore. Lieutenant Marie Duffy, an officer on board the ship, sent the bird to her parents’ home in South Wales. Sunny appears to be loving the move, sprouting new plumage and even befriending the family cat. Commander James Morley, the Captain of HMS Lancaster, said: “After five years of operational service, Sunny has fully earned her two-year shore draft. It is very much hoped that after this well-earned appointment Sunny will return to frontline operational duties with the fleet. HMS Lancaster“This shore draft is entirely in accordance with the Second Sea Lord’s personnel functional standards, which state that no service personnel should be separated from their home for more than 660 days in every three years.”