CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Barbara Gillis was walking down Market Street Tuesday night when suddenly, she heard an unfamiliar sound.
“I’m like, ‘That doesn’t sound like a bird from around here,’” Gillis said. “So, I started looking. I’m an animal lover and had a feeling this was not a regular bird, probably a pet.”
It wasn’t a regular bird, it was a macaw stuck on a pillar at the U.S. Custom House. Gillis tried to get the Charleston Fire Department to help.
“They sent a firetruck out,” she said. “It wasn’t a ladder truck but, there were like four or five different firemen who did get out, did try to assist, but they don’t have the right equipment to get her down.”
Turns out, the macaw, named Miss Kelly, is a pet who got away from her owner.
“The owner brings them up at Waterfront Park and entertains people,” Bill Ross, a friend of the owner said. “These birds sit on other people’s arms and they take pictures. Something scared this macaw to fly off. No one knows what it was, but it spooked the bird.”
The owner tried everything he could to get Miss Kelly down, but wasn’t having much luck, and needed help.
“I need anybody’s help with a boom truck or a snorkel to get her down,” Joseph Weeks, the parrot’s owner, said. “I could sure use your help.”
Eventually, they were able to pry a window open and get the bird on her perch, but she got spooked again, and flew to a nearby building, where animal services were able to safely retrieve her and reunite her with the owner.
“Feels great, man,” owner Mike Grindstaff said, “to have her home. She’s tired, she’s hungry, she’s scared. Now, she can be home. I slept here with here on the grounds last night just so she knew there was somebody familiar here with her. And we finally got her.”