QUEENS Park Cafe won't be the same again now the familiar and much-loved sulphur-crested cockatoo has been retired.

Cocky, the cheeky cockatoo, became a fixture at the old cafe and stayed on when the new cafe was built further up the hill.

But now his owners Kevin and Sharon Goodsir have handed management of the cafe to new operators Greg and Liz Reynolds, Cocky is leaving too.

He's gone to the home of the Goodsirs' daughter Jody Donnelly, who is continuing as manager of the Queens Park Cafe.

"We always had a poster on his cage and people would stop and read. I think a lot of the people who don't do that think he's part of the park," Jody said yesterday.

"So in the last two days when he wasn't there, people were like, 'Where's Cocky?' There have been people who've come to see him since they were kids. It's nice."

Jody said while Cocky became part of Queens Park, he had been at the centre of her life for as long as she could remember.

"I don't know who came first - Cocky or me - but I've had him all my life. He's a member of the family," she said. "Dad got him as a gift from the Booval Pet Shop that used to be on Brisbane Rd.

"He's about 29. He's always looked the same and he's always a bit smaller than wild birds.

"There's a good 100 years left in him potentially so we want to keep him in the family.

"There was no way we were going to not keep him in the family. Dreamworld wanted him and there were a few other places that wanted to take him.

"Greg and Liz, I think they would have been quite happy to keep him there but we know him inside out; we know he's scared of the dark, we know his characteristics. We know him."

Cocky was mainly her mum's pet but Jody took him over with her parents becoming grey nomads and looking forward to some freedom after working seven days a week.

Jody said Cocky loved attention, looking in mirrors, refused to be playfully ignored by her husband Gavin and usually only bit if someone was scared.

"He got Paul Pisasale a good one," she laughed. "Paul's known him for years and he got a bit cocky - he was giving him a bit of a scratch in his cage - and he turned around to have a yarn to someone and Cocky got him on his finger."

Despite years of people saying "Polly want a cracker", Cocky says things such as, "Scratch?" and "What did you say?"

"I noticed this morning the cockatoos hanging on the power lines but he doesn't understand because he's saying, 'Hello' and 'What are you doing?' and they're not talking back," Jody said.


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