LAFAYETTE — Senny the Senegal parrot was returned to the Zoo of Acadiana on Friday after a passing motorist spotted the bird on the shoulder of an exit ramp near U.S. 90 in Broussard and managed to catch it.
The discovery came more than two days after zoo officials thought Senny had perished in a bird robbery this week that turned into a police chase and a fatal car crash.
J. Curtis Gonzales, an employee of Warrior Energy Services in Broussard, said he saw Senny on an exit ramp connecting U.S. 90 with U.S. 182. He said it was a funny-looking bird that didn’t look too healthy as it flew a short distance, so he grabbed it and called Broussard police.
“I remembered hearing on the news about the bird robbery and that one was missing,” Curtis said.
There’s still one parrot missing — Baby Blue, an African ring neck parrot.
Senny, Baby Blue and a caique named Kiwi were stolen early Wednesday morning by a suspect identified by Broussard police as New Iberia businessman Yong Cun Su, 35.
Police said Su crashed his BMW trying to get away from police and was killed after being ejected from his car.
The BMW caught fire in the crash with the parrots still inside. Baby Blue was seen flying away and remained missing Friday afternoon, and Kiwi crawled out with a broken leg and bleeding eyes.
Kiwi later died at the LSU Veterinary School of Medicine in Baton Rouge. On Friday the zoo released a video tribute to Kiwi on YouTube.
But zoo officials and police believed Senny died in the car fire.
“Nobody saw him fly out,” said Lea Loftin, the director of events and marketing at the zoo who said she shed “tears of joy” Friday when Broussard police brought Senny back to the zoo.
“We owe Mr. Gonzales a zoo membership,”Loftin said.
Su’s reason for breaking into the veterinary clinic at the zoo at around 2 a.m. Wednesday and taking the birds remained a mystery Friday.
Zoo owner George Oldenburg, who decided to stay overnight Tuesday at a residence he keeps on zoo grounds, called 911 about an intruder who was carrying bird cages from the clinic to a car.
According to Broussard Police Chief Brannon Decou, Su sped away when he saw Broussard police officers, later crashing into trees.
Decou said police found a .38-caliber handgun and several thousand dollars in cash in the BMW, money the chief said appeared to be from legitimate sources.
Decou said Su was a married businessman from New Iberia with three children.
äON THE INTERNET:
The Zoo of Acadiana’s video tribute to Kiwi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcGxfV5YUMI&feature=youtube