Trenton, N.J., police kick in door over cockatoo's cries

Saturday, September 6, 2008

TRENTON, N.J. -- 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.

But instead of a damsel in distress, officers found a caged cockatoo with a convincing call.

It wasn't the first time the 10-year-old bird named Luna said something that brought authorities to the home of owner Evelyn DeLeon.

About seven years ago, the bird cried like a baby for hours, leading to reports of a possible abandoned baby and a visit to the home by state child welfare workers. But it was only Luna practicing a newfound sound, DeLeon says.

DeLeon says her bird learns much of her ever-growing vocabulary from watching television, in both English and Spanish.

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