The 'Cockatiel Caper' began Tuesday when the bird braved bullets to land on an Academy recruit's head during firearms training. The Public Information Officer for the New York State Police asked the media to broadcast the picture in hopes of finding the bird's home. Since then, the Troopers have received 25 calls from alleged owners.
One was from Raj Ramsundar and his daughter, Kimberly, who saw the story on NewsChannel 13.
"You just know (when it's your pet). There is a certain feature, you just know," explains Kimberly.
The Ramsundars' Cockatiel escaped from their Schenectady home Sunday, during a feeding. As the Cockatiel flies, that's about 11 miles from the State Police Firearms Training site.
"That's why were were so surprised once we saw it, that it went to Guilderland!" says Raj.
Anxious to find Rocco, their missing one year old Cockatiel, the Ramsundars traveled to where the NYSP were holding the bird. Our camera was not allowed back to see the Cockatiel but as Kimberly reported afterwards, "I started crying, that's how I knew it was my bird."
And the Ramsundars were not empty handed. They brought pictures of their missing Rocco and Rocco's twin brother, Jama.
"It's the exact replica of the bird," Raj points out.
Yet Raj, Kimberly and Jama left disappointed and without the bird they believe to be Rocco. The State Police are 90% certain the bird in custody is theirs, but have to question other potential owners of the pet.
"I think they are doing their jobs but we came with a lot of proof. (We're) not just going in there and saying that's my bird," adds Raj.
The NYSP hope to return the bird first thing Friday morning.