DHAKA: A Bangladeshi woman said on Wednesday she had been inundated with phone calls from locals in the area after offering to pay a $600 cash reward for anyone who could return her pet bird, which went missing on Sunday morning.
Many residents of Gulshan, an upscale residential area in the capital city, Dhaka, were calling to ask if Faiza Ibrahim, 28, was serious about paying to find “Kiwi,” a male South American sun conure that can say its name, after seeing his “missing” posters in the neighborhood.
“I’ve had Kiwi since 2018 when he was only three weeks old and didn’t even have any feathers,” Ibrahim told Arab News. “He’s like a member of our family. All of us loved him.”
Ibrahim lives with her extended family of 11 people, and she and her mother would take turns to look after Kiwi, who “loved to feed on seeds, fruits and rice.”
A pair of sun conures can be bought for $600 at an animal shop in Dhaka. Ibrahim said she was aware that the cash reward was high, but she wanted to protect Kiwi.
“A pet bird is more valuable than money. That’s why I announced this huge sum of money as a reward so that people who find him will prefer to return Kiwi instead of selling him to the market,” Ibrahim said.
She suspects her neighbors must have found Kiwi “as this species of birds cannot fly for too long.”
“There are high chances that Kiwi has landed on someone’s shoulders in the area,” Ibrahim said, adding that Kiwi had gone missing in January last year and July 2019 too.
“The first time it happened, I paid $200 to a group of construction workers who found him near my house. The second time, a family found Kiwi but didn’t want to take any cash for him. So, I gave them gifts instead,” Ibrahim said.
She added that since Kiwi was a tamed bird, they would let him roam around the house all day but put him back in its cage at night.
“He probably flew out through one of the windows and has lost his way. I cannot wait to have him back.”