Man Seeks Lost Parrot. Reward: $10,000 Lee Frankel of New York City is offering $10,000 for the safe return of his pet parrot. Suspecting foul play, he papered his neighborhood with fliers asking for any information about the missing bird.
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Man Seeks Lost Parrot. Reward: $10,000

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Man Seeks Lost Parrot. Reward: $10,000

Man Seeks Lost Parrot. Reward: $10,000

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Whilst walking around my neighborhood the other day - walking my dog, Rummy(ph) - I saw a sign about a lost pet. We've all seen signs like this. Two things grabbed me: one was that it was a lost bird - so you don't see that everyday. The other was the reward being offered. Guess. Guess how much it was.


A thousand bucks.

PESCA: Ten thousand dollars.


PESCA: For Franklin(ph) the African grey parrot. Franklin's owner Lee Frankel's on the line.

Lee, how are you?

Mr. LEE FRANKLE (Owner, Franklin): Good morning, Mike.

PESCA: Lee, let's see if we could get some info out there about Franklin. The poster said that you will pay for his return; no questions asked. Does that mean you suspect a birdnapping?

Mr. FRANKEL: Yes, we do.

PESCA: And so what are the - can you speak generally about how you think that went on.

Mr. FRANKEL: Well, we had gotten a phone call on this past Friday from the owner of the border where we keep our two Jack Russell Terriers and Franklin for the past 10 years. We have a longstanding trusting relationship. And thankful, we've really never had any problems - sometimes dogs get kennel cough when they're boarded. We never had problems. And we've gotten a phone call saying that, on Wednesday, they realized that the bird went missing, but they didn't confirm that until Friday, which is when they called us.

PESCA: And when they called you, did they say he might have flown away or did they say it might have been stolen?

Mr. FRANKELS: They had said that he was stolen. We didn't think he could've flown away because, logistically, he probably could not have gotten out of the facility, as well, we tend to clip his wings…

PESCA: Yeah.

Mr. FRANKELS: …which prevents them from taking flight.

PESCA: Now, I know you love your pet. I love my pet. Ten thousand dollars: that is a lot of money.

Mr. FRANKELS: It is.


Mr. FRANKELS: Franklin was more than a pet. Franklin was a companion.

STEWART: Don't speak about him in the past tense. He is…

Mr. FRANKELS: Okay. You're right. You're right.


Mr. FRANKELS: Franklin is a companion. Good point. The bird might cost $3,000 to purchase, might cost as much as 5,000 if somebody wanted to purchase a mature bird. Lot of people are under a misconception that you can get a mature bird, and he's a lot of fun because he talks and is trained, but the simple fact is that African greys are monogamous. They mate for life in the wild. And in captivity, they have one owner. That owner is husband, wife, mate, friend. It's the only person that they will allow to touch it.

PESCA: So he made it with you and your family for life.

Mr. FRANKLES: That's correct - really with my wife. My wife owned Franklin since he was a baby and raised him for 18 years.

PESCA: And what are - aside from his plumage and his grey looks, and I think he has like sort of a blue tow. What are some of the distinguishing characteristics?

Mr. FRANKELS: Well, he's got a fire-engine red tail. He says his name Franklin, Franklin. He imitates knocks on a door. He imitates a cell phone ringing and a whole cacophony of other sounds and noises. But his most distinctive trait is that he's the size of parrot, he's got a very light gray head going down to a medium, dark gray body but his tail feathers are a bright fire engine red.

PESCA: All right, Lee Frankel, owner of Franklin the parrot. He's offering $10,000, no questions asked, for the return of his parrot. We'll post a photo of the reward poster on the blog and Lee's number is there. If you think you've seen Franklin the parrot, please give Lee a call.

Thank you, Lee.

Mr. FRANKEL: Thank you very much.

PESCA: Good luck getting him back.

Mr. FRANKEL: Good day.

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