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Parakeet deemed contraband to be returned to owner

Feb. 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

YOUNGWOOD, Pa., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Officials in Pennsylvania said a monk parakeet confiscated from a woman who pleaded guilty to keeping illegal birds will be sent home.

Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Kelly Hammers said Monday officials have decided to allow owner Faith Good, who purchased Gizmo the monk parakeet for $600 in 1987 as a gift for her daughter, to keep the avian at her Youngwood home provided he is not mated and is turned over to officials if he outlives his owner, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.

Monk parakeets, also known as Quaker parakeets, are banned in the state and are seen as agricultural pests.

Good pleaded guilty to having illegal birds, including Gizmo, last summer. The parakeet has since been kept as contraband by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Good filed a civil lawsuit in September seeking the return of Gizmo and a judge signed an order earlier this month to have the bird returned to his owner. However, Hammers said the plan was delayed because game wardens are not allowed to return contraband.

Hammers said the bird is now being sent home and officials will not seek further action.

"The commonwealth does not intend to file an appeal," Hammers said.

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