Freddy Krueger the Amazonian parrot is either the luckiest or unluckiest son of a gun alive and frankly deserves his own movie.
He’s been making headlines in Brazil (and now the rest of the world) for popping back up at the zoo he was recently kidnapped from, apparently no worse for the wear. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise from a parrot who has also survived a police shoot-out with his former gangster owners, and being bitten by a snake. You just can’t keep a good parrot down.
Four years ago, the turquoise-fronted parrot (Amazona aestiva) was delivered to the zoo in Cascavel, southern Brazil, having survived an armed raid on a drug den where he lived with his owner. It’s possible he was the lookout, as occasionally “talking” birds, like parrots, are used in this way. It was only recently another avian accomplice was “arrested” for allegedly warning its suspected drug-dealing owners of a potential raid.
Whether Freddy was complicit or a narc is unknown, what is known is that he got his Nightmare on Elm Street moniker due to being shot in the face in the crossfire.
“In the shoot-out, [Freddy] was hit in the upper beak, blinded and suffered burns to the feathers that grow between the eyes,” Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported.
He was given a home at the Zoologico Municipal de Cascavel, where, despite being kept separate from other birds due to occasional outbursts of violence, he was starting to recover and was leading what the zoo called an almost normal life. His broken beak prevents him from peeling seeds but he eats fruit and other food normally and has what the zoo vet called “iron health”.
This iron health was put to the test when just a few days before his kidnapping he was apparently bitten by a snake. Luckily it was non-venomous, but he was found bleeding profusely. Again, he survived and was in recovery when the thieves struck on the night of April 16, abducting Freddy and another Amazon parrot, and a cylinder of gas.
It’s most likely he was stolen to be sold into the pet trade. Parrots, especially blue-fronted ones like this, are popular pets due to their sociability, intelligence, and extraordinary ability to copy sounds, including human speech, making it appear that they talk. Although Amazona aestiva is listed as “least concern”, its recorded population is decreasing.
However, it’s possible his not-so-good looks actually saved him, as damaged parrots are not worth as much. It’s unclear whether the plucky parrot escaped his captors or was released but two days later he turned up outside his cage, back in the zoo.
“I do not know if Freddy is lucky or unlucky,” the zoo’s vet, Ilair Dettoni, reportedly said.
Freddy has had a wild ride in his relatively young life (it’s unknown how old he is but turquoise-fronted parrots can live up to 80 years in captivity), but here's hoping he retires to live a quiet life in comfort – at least until Pixar comes knocking.