- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

YOUNGWOOD, Pa. (AP) - County prosecutors have dropped their challenge of a court order that a pet parakeet be returned to a western Pennsylvania woman, even though it is an illegal species that prompted the Pennsylvania Game Commission to seize the bird last year.

Westmoreland County prosecutors planned to comply with the order after a meeting in the judge’s chambers Monday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/NrlPGC ) reported.

The bird’s owner, Faith Good, 63, of Youngwood, has pleaded guilty to several citations and paid a $500 fine for keeping an illegal bird - but she also sued the Game Commission for the Monk parakeet’s return.

County Judge Gary Caruso agreed with the Game Commission that the bird was illegal, but still ordered its return because Good bought it as a family pet two decades ago, not knowing it was an illegal species. The judge’s order requires Good to keep the bird indoors and not allow it to mate.

Monk parakeets like, Good’s pet, Gizmo, can tolerate Pennsylvania’s colder temperatures and are known to proliferate if they escape to mate in the wild, the Game Commission has argued. The birds can ruin crops and are a safety threat because they can build nests on power lines, which could cause outages.

Good sued the Game Commission in September, seeking the return of the bird she bought for $600 in 1987.

Good’s attorney argued the bird wasn’t much of a threat, but some experts and environmentalists disagree, which is why Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states to ban the birds.

The bird has been kept in a state-run facility since it was seized in March.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com

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