Cries for help inside a Trenton, N.J., home turned out to be for the birds. Neighbors called police Wednesday morning after hearing a woman's persistent cry of "Help me! Help me!" coming from a house. Officers arrived and when no one answered the door, they kicked it in to make a rescue.
The cries for help in fact came from Luna, a cockatoo of weight about one pound.
The Trentonian noted:
Luna is an Australian cockatoo owned by South Ward Committeewoman Evelyn DeLeon. She's something of a neighborhood celebrity who serves as the mascot for the local neighborhood watch.
Her bird touched off the scare when two people approached DeLeon's home on the 400 block of Centre Street about 9:50 a.m. Wednesday. Neighbors said the resulting scene was a panic, with the typical emergency response.
IPBiz notes that Luna is an umbrella cockatoo; these come from certain islands in Indonesia and do not come from Australia.
The Trentonian explained how Luna came to say "help me":
After receiving no answer at the door, DeLeon said strangers [at the door of the not-human-occupied house] were soon frightened by what would have been a common sound for neighborhood residents - Luna's cackles, chirps and yes, talking, coming from inside.
The pair reported to police that they heard what sounded like a woman screaming out "Help me! Help me!" inside the home.
DeLeon said yesterday she wasn't surprised to hear that her pet screamed out for assistance, as she taught her the phrase when she was 6 months old.
She said she trained Luna to yell out for help by taking the pet bird in the shower with her, teaching her to say the phrase if she was getting wet. DeLeon said she wanted Luna to know the phrase so that if the bird was outside playing in the yard and a storm approached, she would yell for her owner to come bring her to safety.
The officers checked the entire house, from the basement to the roof, in an effort to locate the source of the screaming and any possible suspects. But only after beginning a second search of the house did they find the culprit, as Luna once again began screaming out "Help me! Help me!"
The Trenton Times was a bit more lurid than the Trentonian on this story:
With their guns drawn, officers searched room-by-room and found no humans in distress, but they continued to hear the pleas for help.
Her 10-year-old blue-eyed umbrella cockatoo has twice now summoned police to the family's home and provided the family with some interesting moments over the years with her ever-expanding vocabulary. [IPBiz notes that female umbrella cockatoos typically have dark, amber colored eyes. Luna is NOT blue-eyed.]
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The Trentonian article has a picture of Luna, who is a bit of a feather-bender.
Lex Luther, the nemesis of evil patent reformer Howard Berman, typically engages humankind in conversation on the sidewalk, yielding surprised expressions when unsuspecting humankind understands they are conversing with a macaw. They are even more surprised when they see that Lex knows more about patent law than Berman, a situation created by Lex's detailed study of postings on IPBiz, as well as by Berman's slavish parroting of Jaffe/Lerner. [There is no truth to the rumor that Lex has a larger vocabulary than Berman, whose human speech does seem to focus on variants of "yes" to the IT industry. Lex is trying to downsize, specifically hoping to delete portions of H.R. 1908 from his memory. If Lex ever encounters Berman in New Jersey, it is likely that Berman will be the one screaming Help Me! Help Me!, as was the case with the Four Amigos.]
In passing, Luna is a friend of Chew-Chew.