A parrot reportedly trained to alert crack dealers to the presence of police has been taken into custody.
The unnamed parrot was reportedly seized earlier this week, when officers raided a drug den reportedly run by a couple in northern Brazil.
The police were conducting operations in Vila Irmã Dulce, a low-income community in the sun-scorched capital of Piauí state, where they targeted crack dealers, The Guardian reports.
According to Brazilian police, as per The Washington Post, the bird had been taught to alert criminals to police operations by shouting ‘Mama, police!’
Despite their seemingly foolproof warning system, the accused couple’s drug den was still raided, and the parrot was taken into custody. Police reportedly cataloged small bags of crack cocaine at the property, while the parrot sat obediently on a countertop.
His apparent owners, a man and teenage girl, were arrested.
Speaking of the bizarre situation, one officer involved in the operation said:
He must have been trained for this. As soon as the police got close he started shouting.
A Brazilian journalist described the bird as ‘super obedient’, and said it kept its beak firmly sealed as soon as it was ‘arrested’.
So far it hasn’t made a sound … completely silent.
The parrot was initially taken to the Teresina Police Department, where law enforcement sought to win the bird over, but it remained quiet.
The bird’s silence caused the accused couple’s defence attorney, Salma Barros, to cast doubt on police’s version of events.
In an interview with Meio Norte, she questioned how a bird which had been accused of loudly tipping off law enforcement for drug dealers could remain so quiet in the police station.
An environmentalist, named Jaqueline Lustosa, was concerned about the bird being in custody in the first place. She went to the station to try and have the animal freed.
According to Meio Norte, the environmentalist said:
We want the Civil Police to indict traffickers for environmental crime of seizing wild animals to increase prison sentences.
Officers eventually gave up on the bird, presumably when they realised they weren’t going to get any telling information out of it, and the parrot was taken to a local zoo, where zookeepers are set to teach it how to fly.
Hopefully the jail bird will be able to move away from its criminal past.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.