A woman has been reunited with her beloved bird after it was stuck in an international airport for months due to a problem with paperwork.
The bird’s owner, Jess Adlard, moved from Pennsylvania to the United Kingdom in Nov. 2022. She was forced to leave her cockatoo Charlie behind.
Charlie, whom Adlard acquired in Dec. 2019, was supposed to arrive in the U.K. nine months later — but the bird was held at customs at Heathrow Airport in London in September of this year.
The 33-year-old former pharmacy technician and her husband, Joe, told British news service SWNS that they were shocked to hear that the bird was missing an export permit upon its arrival in England.
“They said the original export permit was missing — but it was with Charlie when he left the airport in the States,” she said.
Adlard noted that it cost her and her customs clearance agent husband over $6,000 to get Charlie to them.
Recently, however, the three were reunited after Charlie was released from the airport — something Adlard said gave her relief.
The Home Office, the department of the British government responsible for immigration and security, said wildlife arriving in the UK are subject to “strict domestic and international law,” as The New York Post also reported.
“Where required documentation isn’t presented, Border Force can seize pets,” the agency told SWNS. “We take the welfare of animals in our care seriously and those in our protection are looked after in suitable facilities by trained staff, with specialist veterinary care available if required.”
“I feel relief and joy … I feel so complete,” she told SWNS.
The pair is excited to have him home again, even noting that Charlie has already expressed his love after the rescue.
“He has coped brilliantly,” she said.
“I didn’t expect to be hearing ‘I love you’ for a month or two at least.”
Charlie, however, communicated his love for them right after the rescue — on day one.
“Charlie is a tough little guy. He is settling in great and has exceeded every expectation,” his owner said.
As for how Charlie feels about his new home?
Adlard’s husband told SWNS that he seems to be enjoying his new digs.
“He likes his new digs pretty well — I have been whistling to him, and we have been bobbing our heads together,” he said.
It’s safe to say that this bird is now — well, as free as a bird.