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Beer-drinking cockatoo barred from pub

A beer-drinking cockatoo banned from a Wetherspoon pub has become a regular at another after its landlord took pity on the barred bird.

Six-year-old Leo’s favourite drink is Red Stripe, according to his owner. Credit: Lancashire Telegraph

Six-year-old cockatoo Leo was banned from the Old Chapel Wetherspoon pub in Darwen, Lancashire, after staff told his owner, David Wilson, that it operated a strict no pets policy, with the exception of guide dogs.

“He is lovely and I don’t think a parrot should be in the house caged up…He is a beautiful bird, timid, very friendly,” said Mr Wilson, as reported by the Lancashire Telegraph. 

After hearing about the pair’s predicament, the nearby Victoria Pub in Darwen said it would be happy to accommodate Wilson’s feathered friend, with Leo now a common site at its bar. His favourite drink is apparently Red Stripe beer.

“We were welcomed with open arms at The Victoria,” said Wilson speaking to the paper. “Leo is an extremely intelligent and tame bird, he is very well behaved and never flies away too far. When we go to the pub he is very well behaved.

“Leo will sit on other customer’s shoulders quietly, see what they are drinking and then find someone else to sit on. It annoyed me when I was told to leave as Leo does no harm, as if I thought he was going to cause trouble or peck someone I wouldn’t take him with me. He’s part of the furniture at the pub where the staff are really great with him.”

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon defended the company’s decision to bar Leo, explaining that it could set a precedent and encourage other animals to turn up at its pubs.

“We can understand Dave’s disappointment, however, our pubs do not let pets in, with the exception of registered guide dogs,” said Gershon. ““We have to maintain this ruling, otherwise we might find our customers turning up for a pint with a pet rat or snake, which wouldn’t be great”.

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