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Bobo Goes Bye-Bye, and a Movie Studio Goes Ape

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bobo the bird is missing.

Bobo was not famous. Not even for 15 minutes. He was just show business-adjacent.

But that was enough to cause a lot of red faces Friday at the Universal Studios tour, where Bobo happened to be visiting backstage when he took off over North Hollywood.

“He was not part of the show, he did not belong to Universal,” said Gary Gero, head of the show, who was summoned by the Universal publicity department to try to set the record straight after early news reports implied that one of the great potential animal stars of all time had flown the coop.

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Bobo didn’t even talk very much.

“I think he said ‘hello,’ ” Gero said, speaking from his car phone.

Gero had bought Bobo, a large Triton cockatoo, as a favor to some friends a couple of days ago. He would not comment on the bird’s value, but the manager of the Bird Kingdom shop in Los Angeles said that type of bird could easily be worth $1,000.

Gero put Bobo in a cage backstage until his friends could have an appropriate cage built. But a maintenance worker let the bird slip away when she was cleaning his cage. A young animal trainer was horrified--thinking that a bird in training for the show had escaped--and he alerted the media.

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“Then it got out of hand,” Gero said, as Universal got numerous calls from people who heard the early news reports.

But now that Bobo is sort of famous, it might work to his advantage.

“He is very friendly and will probably go to the first person who comes near him,” Gero said. “Maybe we’ll get Bobo back.”


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