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It takes a village to find a bird: Silver Lake woman's search for lost African grey parrot inspires strangers

July 20, 2010 |  5:22 pm

African Grey Parrot

When Silver Lake resident Alexis Readinger's African grey parrot, Lola, disappeared in late June, Readinger went into high gear to find the bird and bring her back home.

Lola had been enjoying a snack on Readinger's back patio with her other African grey, Charlie, when Readinger went inside to meet a client. When she returned, Lola was gone. Since then, she's posted signs ("Lola likes almonds, oranges and ice cream"), consulted with a pet psychic, utilized traveling billboards and enlisted the help of both a pet detective and trained tracking bloodhounds. The cost: Several thousand dollars and growing.

The lengths to which Readinger has gone to find Lola has had the curious and heartening effect of inspiring a community of strangers who are helping with the search. Neighbor Kerin Morataya spotted Lola in a nearby tree, called Readinger, placed food and water to lure the bird and, when the attempt to catch her failed, spent time on Internet databases searching for signs of her.

Morataya, who once lost a pet herself, says she was moved by Readinger's billboard ads. "That kind of kept Lola in my mind," she explained recently. "Obviously, if someone's going to put that much into it, that's devotion. That's the kind of person you'd want to help. Now every time I go outside, I'm always looking in the sky, hoping I'll see her."

Learn more about the search for Lola the parrot in reporter Kate Linthicum's recent story in The Times.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Charlie, Readinger's other African grey parrot, after Lola's disappearance. Credit: Sachi Cunningham / Los Angeles Times

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