A BOY’S pet proved he’s no bird-brain when he was declared as thinking he’s human – saving him from being seized by the RSPCA.
Emmanuel Adams, 10, was devastated when RSPCA officers told him they would have to release his beloved jackdaw into the wild.
The pair hit the headlines when Emmanuel, of Thornhill, Sunderland, took the friendly bird under his wing – prompting comparisons to the 1970’s cult film Kes, where a boy befriends a wild kestrel.
The jackdaw had been pestering children at St Mary’s RC Primary School – where Emmanuel is a pupil – by dive-bombing them.
But the bird took to Emmanuel and began happily perching on his arm, as reported in the Echo.
Since taking in the jackdaw, Emmanuel, with the help of his mum Carolyn, has cared for it and the two have become inseparable.
Jack lands on the schoolboy’s head and helps him turn the pages of his school books.
Now Jack the jackdaw is imitating Emmanuel’s coughs and sneezes and living happily with the youngster and his sisters, Rebecca, 16, Alexia, 11, and Andiron, nine.
But last week – after a report from a member of the public – an RSPCA officer visited the family’s home and said the bird would have to go, which left Emmanuel in tears.
But, after the intervention of a wildlife police officer Pc Nick Pearson, Jack has been declared “imprinted” – meaning that the bird thinks he is human.
It is illegal for an imprinted bird to be released into the wild.
The family have had a “bird certificate” made to celebrate Jack becoming an official member of the family and plan to celebrate his “bird-day” on May 4 each year.
Emmanuel said: “This certificate says that Jack is now called Mr Jack Adams, not Jack-daw.
“When I found out we can keep him I started crying because I was just so happy.
“I think of him as my little brother because he’s just a really friendly bird and he’s a member of the family.”
Carolyn, 46, said: “We’ve all become really attached to this bird and he’s just another member of the family.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Pc Pearson has given his opinion that the bird is imprinted, and therefore it would be dangerous to the bird to let it go.
“He hasn’t told the family they can keep it because that is not for him to decide.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “The RSPCA visited the family with whom this jackdaw is living, after receiving a complaint from a member of the public and we are investigating.
“However well-intentioned the action, it is illegal, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to remove birds from the wild and place them into captivity for purposes other than tending to them with the intention of releasing them back into the wild.
“The RSPCA is duty-bound to operate within the laws which govern animal welfare.”