Parrots Get In On the Identity Theft Game

November 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Need a passport?Whenever I travel I make sure to bring along multiple forms of identification.

In today’s Big Brother society I’m not allowed to go anywhere without my dog tag. Name, phone number and treat preference are easily read by those I let get close to me.

I also have a chip in my body somewhere, and I’m not talking about the potato chip I just took off of the old man’s plate. No, this one has an identification number on it and cross references me on some list somewhere. As far as I know I’ve managed to stay off of any terrier lists.

I also have my Together Tag in case the need for emergency care presents itself. Truth be told the Together Tag trumps the standard, run of the mill dog tag, but I like to showboat my jewelry…even if it is just tin.

And finally, I always carry my inoculation papers with me. I keep them in a zippered pocket on the inside of my fur suit. I don’t want to be stopped on the road by some German Shepherd who asks to see my papers and come up empty. If that happens, a guaranteed visit to the local dog pound is in order, and let’s face it, some of us don’t make it out of there.

My point is that you want to make sure you have plenty of identification with you. Not because you may forget who you are, although sometimes that’s a helpful fantasy, but so that others know who you are and can keep tabs on you.

I give this advice, albeit a bit late, to a Scottish visitor who had his passport ripped off by a local thug in New Zealand. Who else but The Telegraph would have the full details?

Police said the Scottish visitor reported the theft from a tour bus on its way to Milford Sound, a coastal beauty spot in South Island’s rugged Fiordland region.

A police spokesman in Te Anau, the nearest town, said the kea had swooped on a brightly coloured courier bag containing the man’s passport when the coach made a stop and the driver opened the luggage compartment.

The passport has not been recovered and, given the 4,600 square mile size of Fiordland’s alpine national park, the officer feared it was unlikely to be.

The Scotsman, who did not want to be identified, said he had been told by the British High Commission in Wellington that there could be a wait of up to six weeks before he receives a replacement passport.

He said he was planning to return home to Scotland in August.

“My passport is somewhere out there in Fiordland. The kea is probably using it for fraudulent claims or something.”

Keas, a highly intelligent green native parrot with a powerful curved beak, long sharp claws and a comical waddling walk, are both beloved and hated by New Zealanders and tourists.

Intensely curious and with a proclivity for mischief making, groups of the birds have been known to vandalise parked cars in a matter of minutes by stripping out the rubber surrounds of windscreens and doors, breaking off wing mirrors, and even shredding tyres.

Known as “the clown of the mountains”, they also have an irresistible interest in anything new or shiny.

That sounds an awful lot like my old man. He’s the clown of the house and when he sees something new or shiny he gets mesmerized like some Manchurian Candidate.

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