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Pet Bird Escapes from Home and Sails to New Zealand

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Harri Sea Princess BowHaving flown the coop for a cruise adventure of her own, Harri the stowaway galah, a rose-breasted female cockatoo native to Australia, has been returned to her family by Princess Cruises for a joy-filled reunion at the Portside Cruise Terminal in Brisbane.

The adventure all started as Michelle and Brett Cozzi along with four-year-old daughter Georgia were packing for a cruise vacation. The Cozzi’s beloved bird, Harri, was accidentally set free from her cage and flew away from the suburban town of Nundah, Queensland, Australia and presumed never to be seen again. The family was devastated, but little did they know, Harri was about to take a cruise vacation of her own.

Sea Princess, one of Princess Cruises 17 ships, was sailing the Tasman Sea when crew members came across the beautiful bird. Officers had Harri scanned for a microchip, and discovered the bird was family pet. The officers made her an honorary crew member with her own laminated crew identification card. Harri enjoyed the remainder of her cruise vacation on Sea Princess complete with her own stateroom, daily meals and world-class service.

Meanwhile, as the Cozzi family was enjoying their cruise on sister line P&O’s Pacific Aria off Queensland, word was received from Australian Agriculture Department officials that Harri had been found, and to the entire family’s shock, was on her own cruise adventure to New Zealand.

Once back on land and awaiting her return, the Cozzi family learned of Harri’s fantastic journey. During her 14-day New Zealand cruise odyssey, Sea Princess Environmental Officer Tibor Filipovic was Harri’s friendly onboard guardian under the watchful eye of the ship’s Master, Princess Cruises Commodore Giuseppe Romano, as they followed the strict biosecurity guidelines that enabled fully fledged Australian bird citizen Harri to return home.

Commodore Romano and Environmental Officer Filipovic said they were pleased to be able to care for Harri during her stay on Sea Princess, and looked forward to returning her to her Brisbane family, despite the crew who has grown fond of their Aussie shipmate.

“The entire ship’s company has come to love Harri and she has been a very good shipmate and no trouble at all,” Commodore Romano said. “But we could also see that Harri was missing her human family, so it was a great pleasure to be able to reunite them.”

As the journey came to an end, the Cozzi family delivered Harri’s birdcage to the terminal where Sea Princess docked, and then waited patiently while Harri received a pre-disembarkation veterinary check, which, as expected, she passed with flying colors.

“We are very excited to have Harri home because she is a much loved member and indispensable part of our family,” Michelle Cozzi said. “We’d hoped for her safe return but after Harri had been gone for a few days, it wasn’t looking good. It was amazing to discover she had been found on another cruise ship. It was just the best news possible.”

Harri’s return is the result of a joint effort by Princess Cruises, the Sea Princess crew, and government authorities on both sides of the Tasman Sea. The groups worked together to ensure biosecurity requirements were strictly followed so that Harri could come home.

“We are pleased to contribute to such a positive outcome in a story that has captured the imagination of so many people here and around the world,” said Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises senior vice president. “The Sea Princess team set the scene for today’s family reunion with the professional way in which they responded to Harri’s discovery on their ship.”

“It has also been a great pleasure to work cooperatively with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries and the Australian Department of Agriculture to happily resolve Harri’s stowaway adventure.”

This story goes to show that not only people ‘flock’ to Princess Cruises.

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