By Aliki Kraterou and Joe McFarlane
A kind-hearted student adopted an injured pigeon she found on the street and now he has become her pet.
Yazmin Feliz, 29, a full-time PhD mechanical engineering student from Garfield, New Jersey, USA, rescued the little pigeon a year ago, after she spotted him on her way to University.
She said he looked as if he was ‘having a rough day’ so she took him home, took him to the vet and after he was all better she decided to keep him.
She now calls him ‘Tutu’ and the pair have been doing everything together- Tutu likes to sit on her shoulder when she is walking, reading or working.
Yazmin said: “It seemed disoriented, scared, and on a couple occasions it was almost stepped on by people. You know it’s a bad situation when a person takes notice of a pigeon.
“When I first laid eyes on him I knew he needed help but I was hoping I was wrong. I had never rescued a pigeon and had no idea how to care for him.
“After seeing him scared and injured and standing at that one location for over 8 hours, I just couldn’t go home without him.
“I decided to bring him home because I felt it was destiny that I just happened to walk down that block and see him, I never go down that direction.
“He also seems to be so afraid and almost waiting for someone to help him-his little eyes showed so much fear and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him.
“The first night home we barely slept, Tutu was crying at night and I did not know how to help him.
“The second night I grabbed my blankets and pillow and slept next to him on the floor of the room, he slept quietly. ”
Tutu was then taken to the vet and diagnosed with a wing fracture and broken clavicle but he recovered quickly and started becoming a big part of Yazmin’s daily activities, like borrowing her things, sitting on her shoulder or keep her company wile she’s eating.
“Tutu enjoys spending time on my shoulder and observing me type.
“He likes to be in the room with me and spends his days looking for things to ‘borrow’ to add to his nest such as my earrings, shoelaces, or q-tips from the bathroom counter.
“He loves attention and if I’m busy working he will come into my room, stand by my feet and stare at me until I pick him up- if I take too long to pick him up I may get a friendly ‘peck’ reminding me he is still waiting.
“Tutu thoroughly enjoys bath time and he loves it when I blow dry him- against common misconception, pigeons love to be clean and will bathe daily if offered a fresh water source.
“He loves to join me when I am eating and will ‘shake’ and purr with excitement- I hand feed him scrambled eggs in the morning- his favourite.
“Tutu is part of daily activities and just wants to be included-when my Amazon packages arrive, he wants to be there to open them and see what’s inside, just like a cat.
“Tutu gets very excited by new things and will talk and dance when he sees his new toys or even a pair of slippers that I bought.
“He enoys looking out the window and coming outside with me for brief walks-he sits on my shoulder the entire time and does not leave.
“Sometimes, he will fly back into the house. It appears Tutu has no interest in living outside and often shows ‘concern’ for me when he sees me go outside. He begins to cry and howl as if to warn me of imminent danger.
“He frequently tries to hijack my bath time by jumping into the tub when I turn the faucet on, he likes to help me comb my hair by jumping on my head and cooing at the comb and he also dances and talks to my hair products on the bathroom counter.
“Its amazing how such little things bring him joy. “