Conor Mulligan experienced what he says was the scariest moment of his life when 10 armed people ambushed his car at a shopping centre carpark — and he said it all began when he lost his princess parrot Astrid.
Astrid the parrot went missing when Mulligan and his wife Claire moved out of their home in Adelaide’s south in July this year.
Devastated, the couple put up posters and posted on multiple social media pages offering a $500 reward to anyone who found and returned her.
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But after a few days, they started to receive some disturbing texts and calls.
“(They were saying), ‘we’ve got your bird, there’s no hope of you getting it back, I’m going to put it on eBay and Gumtree’.
“They were saying it’s dead, and they killed it in a myriad of horrible ways,” Mulligan said
Anyone who finds Astrid and returns her to her owners is being offered a $500 reward. Credit: Facebook
Mulligan and his wife ignored the texts, but then received what they thought was a positive lead one day when someone said they found a parrot that looked identical to Astrid in their area.
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The couple were asked to come to a shopping centre in Park Holme at 7.30pm with the promise of seeing and collecting the bird if it was theirs.
“In a matter of seconds, the car was surrounded by between seven and 10 people … they drew a bunch of weapons,” Mulligan said.
“My wife thought really quickly and managed to turn the car around.
“I somehow managed to get back in the car without wounds, and then they started kicking the panels, hitting the car with a machete.
“It was insanity,” he said.
Claire and Conor Mulligan owned Astrid the parrot for almost one year. Credit: Supplied
Mulligan described the group as a mix of men and women aged between 17 and 21-years-old.
After reporting the incident, he was told police believed they know who the suspects are.
Mulligan also heard of another family in Adelaide’s south who had been harassed after posting about their lost bird online.
“They’ve been getting calls that they’re breaking their wings and all this crazy stuff,” he said.
South Australia police said they were investigating the assault, and following “positive lines of investigation”.
They advised members of the public to always remain vigilant when meeting people from an online advertisement by meeting in public areas in daylight and keeping a record of all conversations.
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