Owner gets more than just her pet parrot after lost bird was found at Anakeesta

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – A lost parrot and his owner have been reunited thanks to employees and visitors at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg.

You may have hear stories about missing dogs or cats, but what about a missing parrot?

“I put signs up, I posted online,” said Lauren Reilly, owner of Phoenix, an African Grey Parrot.

“I had just moved my RV onto the Little Pigeon River and there was a lot of commotion and noise, and my dog got spooked and yanked me towards the river and I had him and he took off flying,” she explained.

Lauren has had Phoenix his whole life, “I brought him home when he was three weeks old. He could fit in my hand.”

So, when she lost her parrot, her life was turned upside down.

“I was in the woods at night with a flashlight and binoculars just trying to find him,” Reilly said.

A few days later she got a call from a friend, “I was like ‘where is he?’ And she said ‘he’s at a place called Anakeesta.'”

Michele Canney, marketing director of Anakeesta was just as surprised to hear the story of a parrot lading in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.

“We always joke that we’re like a wildlife corridor because we see so many bears and other wild animals on the property, but a couple of days ago we had an African grey parrot that flew onto the property and actually landed on the top of one of our guest’s heads right there on the top of AnaVista Tower,” Canney said.

Lauren and Phoenix were reunited and Lauren got more than just her bird back.

“Samantha our recruiting coordinator ended up speaking with Lauren, who’s the owner of the bird, and she had her name tag on, and Lauren looked at it and said, I am looking for a position right now are you hiring,” explained Canney.

Now, Lauren in an employee at Anakeesta and starts on Monday.

“I believe he flew here for a reason,” Lauren said.

Anakeesta is still looking for employees, and they say you don’t have to have a parrot to apply for a job.

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