Parakeet’s song ‘saves’ Turkish family from earthquake

Parakeet’s song ‘saves’ Turkish family from earthquake

An unusually quiet parakeet’s tweets startled a Turkish family awake in time to flee their home minutes before the ground began to shake in Pazarcik, epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Turkey before dawn on February 6.

“Half an hour before the earthquake, it made a strange noise at night, when the light was not on. It was flapping its wings and jumping from place to place in the cage,” Mustafa Cimen, 17, told state news agency Anadolu.

The noise woke the family from their sleep, so they were were able to race for the door once the tremors began.

“Thanks to the bird, we were not caught asleep by the earthquake,” Mustafa said.

The family bought the baby parakeet, Mavis, three months ago, and she had not sung much until then, he said.

He told Anadolu that dogs the family fed outside their home also began making “strange sounds” before the quake, which destroyed thousands of homes and claimed more than 44,000 lives in Turkey and Syria.

Mustafa said Mavis was allowed out of her cage and was friendly towards people.

He said the bird had come to be regarded as a mascot by residents in the temporary housing where his family is staying.

Searching the rubble, rescuers have also found dogs, cats and other pets that survived the devastation of the earthquake.

One cat befriended a rescuer who saved it 129 hours after the quake hit, Turkish broadcaster TRT reported.

The rescuer promised to take care of the animal if its owner was not found.

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