Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2018

Cruise news: Galah bird reunited with family after two-week escape | Cruise | Travel

Harri’s love for adventure has taken her from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia onboard the Sea Princess across the Tasman Sea to some of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. 

Owners Michelle and Brett Cozzi, and their nine-year old daughter, were distraught when they found out that their much-loved family pet had escaped from its cage. 

The family launched several attempts to find her, including a Facebook appeal to find the beloved pet, before coincidentally embarking on a cruise of their own.  

They were shocked to discover Harri had been living the high life on a luxury fourteen-day adventure. 

The galah bird which is native only to Australia, has a vivid pink and grey plumage which makes them very distinctive.  

They are also known for their bold and loud behaviour. 

Harri’s discovery initially sparked biosecurity fears, as Australian and New Zealand officials treat foreign species very seriously.

At present, New Zealand has a fragile native bird population and is concerned about the spread of avian diseases from non-native birds. 

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the only way for the cruise to dock in the country was for the bird either be euthanised or secured and bonded to the vessel. 

Luckily the bird has been microchipped for years and has documented blood tests to prove she is free from disease.  

To ensure Harri’s safety, the ship’s environmental officer Tibor Filipovic stuck the MPI’s strict guidelines, making sure that she could not escape by locking her in the vessel.  

She spent the remainder of the cruise held in quarantine in a private cabin next to the captain.

The Cozzi family were delighted to hear their runaway pet has been discovered safe and sound.

Upon hearing the news, Mrs Cozzi said: “She’s been a very important part of the family for the past nine years, so we are very glad to have her back. 

“We’d hoped for her safe return but after Harri had been gone for a few days, it wasn’t looking good.

“It was amazing to discover she had been found on another cruise ship. 

“It was just the best news possible.”

Once back on dry land, Harri was subject to a routine veterinary check and clearance from the Department of Agriculture, before the bird was reunited with her owners at Portside Cruise Terminal in Brisbane. It’s safe to say Harri has had the trip of a lifetime.

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