Crane, trucker and two city employees help save mayor's parrot

The mayor of Kiryat Shmona rescued his pet parrot from atop a tree by using one of the city's cranes and trucks.

‘I’M SCARED!’ Oren says and hugs me as a green parrot lets out a particularly ear-splitting screech. (photo credit: YAAKOV NAUMI/FLASH90)
‘I’M SCARED!’ Oren says and hugs me as a green parrot lets out a particularly ear-splitting screech.
(photo credit: YAAKOV NAUMI/FLASH90)

The mayor of Kiryat Shmona, Avichai Stern, rescued his pet parrot today from the top of a tree a day after it escaped from the Stern family's house and disappeared. The mayor used the city's crane to rescue his parrot. Two city employees, a truck driver and a crane operator came to help as well.

The parrot, Arthur, managed to escaped Friday morning from the mayor's apartment. The mayor, his wife, friends and city residents who came to help look for him, noticed the parrot in a tree. But at one point, he flew away from the crowd and disappeared. He was found on Saturday on top of a cypress tree. With the help of a city crane, the mayor climbed up the tree and got a hold of Arthur, returning him to his home.

It should be noted that working at a certain height, like the mayor did, required passing a course and receiving a work-at-height license. Safety measures such as wearing a harness and a helmet are also required, which the mayor did not use.

Many of the city's residents were happy to find the lost parrot and were pleased about its return home safe and sound, but at the same time, some questioned whether or not an average resident would have received the help of the municipality with equipment and municipal employees, especially given the fact that this was done during Shabbat and without the licensing or safety measures required.

“I am shocked at how the mayor allowed himself to use city employees in the middle of Shabbat and take out a crane at the city's expense, all to rescue his pet.”

Eli Zafferani, Kiryat Shmona city council member
Parrots land on a tree in the morning at Khati Waas village in the northern Indian state of Haryana December 29, 2005 (credit: REUTERS)Parrots land on a tree in the morning at Khati Waas village in the northern Indian state of Haryana December 29, 2005 (credit: REUTERS)

Eli Zafferani, a member of the Kiryat Shmona city council, said, "I am shocked at how the mayor allowed himself to use city employees in the middle of Shabbat and take out a crane at the city's expense, all to rescue his pet."

"This was a waste of public funds that cries out to the heavens, and more so in the middle of Shabbat, a day of rest, for the employees. This is a level of audacity that I have never known. No resident of Kiryat Shmona would spend the day working in the middle of Shabbat to locate his pet, but Stern allows himself everything. I demand that he immediately return the city budget money used to locate the pet and cover the wages of the employees. If not, we will turn to the Personal Billing Committee at the Interior Ministry and to the courts."

The mayor intends to pay for the use of the city truck

The office of Mayor Avichai Stern responded: "Kiryat Shmona's city policy in regards to rescuing animals is to act to rescue and save them. This is what we have done in recent years in quite a few cases that were handled following requests received at our city hotline, including on Shabbat and holidays and this is how we will continue to act."

"Despite the fact that in previous cases, the residents of the city did not pay for the service provided by the local authority and its employees, Mayor Avichai Stern intends to pay for the truck used to rescue the parrot. It should be noted, the mayor himself climbed the ladder to rescue the parrot. He thanks the hundreds of city residents who rallied and helped in the search for the beloved and precious parrot, as well as his wife and daughter."