Rozzie, a much-loved greater sulphur-crested cockatoo, has gone missing and owner Craig Fry has been doing everything he possibly can to have his pet returned home safely ‒ from offering a R10 000 reward to putting an animal communicator on the case.
Speaking from his Ashburton farm yesterday, Fry said Rozzie went missing on October 17 while Fry was in Cape Town for the weekend.
“Rozzie had gone from our home across to our office on the property. My wife went to fetch him when the dogs gave him a fright and he flew down the slope and disappeared,” Fry said yesterday, adding that he suspected Rozzie flew over the fence and into the bush.
“My wife phoned to tell me Rozzie was missing. I went to pieces. I moved my flight back to Durban to first thing in the morning and as soon as I got home, I started searching. I spent the next four days of solid searching in the bush,” he said.
Fry originally rescued Rozzie from an unscrupulous pet shop owner in Johannesburg in 2016 and named his new bird after a friend, Rosalind, who had funded the purchase of Rozzie.
“It was only when we got Rozzie home that we noticed she wasn’t a she, but a he, but we kept the name anyway,” he said.
For the first few months, no one was able to touch Rozzie, who was angry and aggressive.
“I had put him in a big flight aviary and he hated people. So I spent a couple of hours a day feeding and being with him. One day I was standing by the door and he put his little foot out towards me, he didn’t zap me, and since that day, we’re together 24 hours a day.
“He sleeps on the bedroom door and even takes a shower with me. He can hear my car coming from a kilometre away and starts shouting.
“Wherever I am on the farm, he’ll come and find me. I operate my life with one hand because Rozzie is always on the other,” said Fry, confirming he had offered a R10 000 reward for the safe return of his bird.
He added that it was possible someone had taken Rozzie and he had contacted animal communicator, Elaine Whitwam to help find his pet.
“If someone has bought a bird that was offloaded cheap cheap and that bird is Rozzie, I’m happy to pay the price that person paid to get him back,” said Fry.
Anyone with information can contact Craig Fry at 074 737 2729.
The Independent on Saturday