A parrot has been taken into custody in northern Brazil following a police raid targeting crack dealers.
According to reports in the Brazilian press, the bird had been taught to alert criminals to police operations in Vila Irmã Dulce , a low-income community in the sun-scorched capital of Piauí state, by shouting: “Mum, the police!”
The parrot, who has not been named, was seized on Monday afternoon when officers swooped on a drug den run by a local couple.
“He must have been trained for this,” one officer involved in the operation said of the two-winged wrongdoer. “As soon as the police got close he started shouting.”
A Brazilian journalist who came face to face with the imprisoned parrot on Tuesday described it as a “super obedient” creature – albeit one that had kept its beak firmly shut after being “arrested”.
“So far it hasn’t made a sound … completely silent,” the reporter said.
Alexandre Clark, a local vet, confirmed the parrot had not cooperated: “Lots of police officers have come by and he’s said nothing.”
The Brazilian broadcaster Globo said the “papagaio do tráfico” (drug trafficking parrot) had been handed over to a local zoo where it would spend three months learning to fly before being released.
The bird joins a growing list of animals implicated in Brazil’s drug trade, although most have been reptiles.
In 2008, police seized two small alligators during a raid on a favela in western Rio de Janeiro, claiming local gangsters had fed their enemies to the animals. However, the father of one of the accused gangsters rejected those accusations, alleging his son’s gang had once tried to do so – but the alligator had refused to eat the corpse.