Polly wants a passport – and isn't above stealing one. A brazen parrot spotted a Scottish man's passport in a coloured bag in the luggage compartment of a bus, nabbed the document and made off into dense bush with it.
The bird – a parrot of the Kea variety – made its move while the tour bus was stopped along the highway to Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island. Milford Sound, which runs inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock face, is part of Fiordland National Park, a world heritage site and major travel destination.
Police told the Southland Times that the passport had not been recovered and was unlikely to be located in the vast Fiordland rain forest.
"My passport is somewhere out there in Fiordland. The Kea's probably using it for fraudulent claims or something," the passport owner, who did not want to be named, told the newspaper. A replacement passport from the British High Commission in Wellington could take six weeks.
Kea, the world's only snow line-dwelling parrot, are widely known as inquisitive birds who appear to take delight in attacking rubber items such as windshield wipers. They are found in the South Island mountains only, where they live in high-altitude beech forests and open sub-alpine herb fields. Covered in brown and green feathers, they have large flashes of bright orange under their wings.