Polly Want a Wallet: Parrot Steals $900 from Tourist in New Zealand

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A Kea at Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand.

A Scottish man received a shock when he had more than $900 stolen by a mischievous parrot while on holiday in New Zealand.

Peter Leach, a British Navy veteran, was driving around the countryside when he stopped his RV to take pictures of the South Island’s stunning scenery.

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While parked on State Highway 73 by picturesque Arthur’s Pass, a light-beaked bird stole $1,100 New Zealand dollars — about $930 — from the vehicle’s dashboard. The 52-year-old victim only became aware of the crime after some nearby tourists pointed out what had happened.

“A Canadian couple walked by and said, ‘We’ve just seen that bird take something out of your van,’” Leach told Scotland’s The Daily Record. The feathered fiend left him with just $30 to his name, he added.

When the Glasgow native reported the crime to the local police, he said, “the officer was very serious for the first few questions. Then he said, ‘Do you mind if I just stop to laugh?’ I suppose I can’t blame him.”

The parrot in question was a Kea, a species native to New Zealand dubbed “the clown of the mountains” for its tendency to investigate backpacks and open car trunks and windows, often causing damage or escaping with small prizes. Known for their intelligence and curiosity, Kea can even solve logical puzzles, such as pushing and pulling objects in a certain order to obtain food.

There are many examples of animals stealing from humans around the world, including a fearless fox that robbed groceries from a British man last year. Worst of all, NewsFeed believes? Probably the vervet monkeys of the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, who raid local bars for cocktails and “mug” unsuspecting guests for their drinks.

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