Aaj English TV

Sunday, February 25, 2024  
14 Shaban 1445  

How can I find a talking green parrot who has flown off in Karachi?

We asked ChatGPT and it was helpful
File photo
File photo

I was trawling Facebook right now on Friday morning when a distraught group member posted that he had lost his talking green parrot in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. I had once lost my dog and thus understood the pain. But finding a dog seemed easier than finding a parrot. So I decided to ask ChatGPT for some advice.

Mahim: How can I find a talking green parrot who has flown off in Karachi?

ChatGPT: I’m sorry, but as a language model, I don’t have the ability to locate specific individuals or animals. The best way to find a lost pet is to follow some basic steps:

Check the area around your home and neighborhood thoroughly, including any trees, bushes, sheds, or other places a parrot might hide.

Contact local animal shelters and veterinarians to see if anyone has brought in a lost parrot.

Put up flyers in your neighborhood and nearby areas with a description of the parrot and your contact information.

Consider posting on social media or local online classifieds sites to get the word out about your lost parrot.

Consider offering a reward for the safe return of the parrot to encourage people to help.

It’s also a good idea to have your parrot microchipped, as this can greatly increase the chances of being reunited if your parrot is found by someone else.

Mahim: Are microchips available in Pakistan?

ChatGPT: Yes, microchips are available in Pakistan for pets, including parrots. Microchips are small, electronic devices that are inserted under the skin of an animal, typically in the neck area. They contain a unique identification number that can be read by a special scanner. If your parrot is lost and is found by someone else, a veterinarian or animal shelter can scan the microchip to determine the parrot’s identity and contact the owner.

It’s a good idea to have your parrot microchipped as it can greatly increase the chances of being reunited if your parrot is lost. You can contact local veterinarians or animal shelters to find out more about microchipping and how to get it done. They will be able to provide more information on the process and any costs involved.

I then got in touch with Javed Mahar, the chief conservator in Sindh with the Wildlife department. He said that yes, microchipping was being done in Pakistan, but as far as he knew it was for wild animals.

My vet, Dr Faizan Saleem, at South Lane Animal Hospital, in DHA, does microchipping. He said that he does microchipping for dogs and would do one for mine. But it isn’t possible for parrots.

He explained, however, that the microchipping is only to ID a dog, for example. “You can’t track the animal through it,” he said. A thick needle is used and the microchip is inserted, say between the shoulder blades. You can then scan the animal at that spot and its unique ID will show up. So there may be many animals called Moti, but your Moti will have a unique number if you wish to take her abroad. It costs Rs3,500.

Another option is the Apple airtag which people use and comes shaped like a small pendant. But the risk is that anyone can steal it. People get it mostly for their cars and stuff. You track the object through your phone.

The GPS tracking chips are not allowed into Pakistan, he said. To the best of his knowledge, the ministry won’t allow you to bring it in and customs will stop you because you need an NoC.

Many options are selling on Ali Express-like websites but they are blue-tooth enabled and only work in a specific radius.

Tips on finding a lost pet

About a year ago my dog was stolen. And while I used journalistic tricks to get it back, here are a few things that I shared with people who subsequently lost their animals and contacted me on Twitter.

  1. If you own a dog, make friends with ALL the chowkidars in your neighbourhood because they are the ones who are most likely going to spot it if it has randomly exited your house.
  2. Keep an eye out for the garbage picking boys who are going around neighbourhoods in the red motorcycle-bin combo ‘mini truck’ type vehicles. Make friends with them. They have the best intelligence on what is happening in the street. My dog was retrieved from Shireen Jinnah Colony where garbage was being sorted.
  3. Offer a reward beyond the dog’s value on the open market. This is the tough one and depends on how much you love your pet. Your dog will be gone if it ends up on OLX. Special breeds fetch big prices. Spread the word that you are going to give a reward among the illegal dog markets.

Empress Market Sunday morning is where you may find your dog being sold. I’ve seen many clearly stolen dogs there. However, if you scare the thief they may go into hiding with the dog.

There are a few terrible dog shops off 26th Street where I have seen Huskies chained to the wall and dogs in cages. There is also a market in Liaquatabad. But it is very hard to go looking there.

The dog-walking boys are also a great resource for intel. There are also really dodgy animal hospitals that have sprung up. RPK Critter’s is one that really scared me when I went looking for mine.

Join the pet watch WhatsApp group in your neighbourhood as usually neighbours are happy to help. And see who has CCTV camera footage they can share.

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