SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A therapy parrot was taken from disabled man in downtown Sacramento. Emmert Long’s friends are still searching for the bird and hope someone comes forward with information soon.
“If I don’t have my bird, they even wonder where my bird is,” Long said. “Some people even call me the bird man.”
But it’s a nickname Long doesn’t mind. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, but told CBS13 having a therapy bird makes life a little bit easier.
“It calms my nerves,” he said.
Two weeks ago, his one-year-old sun conure Samantha was stolen right off of his back. He said a man tapped him on the shoulder and told him his bird was behind him on the ground. But when he looked, he didn’t see a thing and now his bird was gone.
“I think that person is lacking in some fundamental aspect of being a human,” said Dana Strome, the owner of Parrot Planet. “[Emmert] is a remarkable person for what he’s had to deal with in his life.”
Working as a physician’s assistant in the emergency room, Strome learned how important a therapy bird could be in a life-threatening situation.
“[Samantha] could alert to when he was having seizures,” she said.
When Strome heard the bird had been taken, she turned to a similar therapy parrot, hoping to fill the sudden void in Emmert’s life.
The new bird is only four months old and still has more training ahead. While he and Emmert are still getting to know each other, Emmert said the bond has already begun to form; and he wanted to make sure this bird had a part of him.
“I’m not sure but I think I’m going to name it Ted,” he said. “Ted is my middle name.”
Emmert says he’s still in the process of filing a police report. Samantha is a bright parrot, small, very colorful and very loud. If you see the bird, you can call Parrot Planet at 916-594-9290 or visit their Facebook page.