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On the Light Side

October 28, 1986

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (AP) _ Remington, an elusive and sarcastic macaw who flew the coop more than two weeks ago, is back home, mainly because her pursuers finally ignored her.

The blue and gold bird was caught Sunday night on a neighbor’s property where she had been nesting for five days, owner Patricia Foss said Monday.

Remington defied weary would-be captors during her two weeks and two days of freedom, firing away with such lines as ″I can talk, can you fly?″

The 9-year-old macaw would fly from tree to tree and Foss would pay her visits. The owner said a veterinarian suggested she stop seeing Remington and she stayed away for two days.

On Sunday, Remington swooped down near the cage that Foss had placed on the neighbor’s property. ″I’m sure that was her way of saying, ’Come and get me,‴ she said.

Remington escaped after getting a bath and being set out to dry. She was spotted several times soaring among treetops eating figs, walnuts and grapes from trees in the small town on the edge of the Sonoma County wine country.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Bwana, the patriarch of the zoo’s gorilla colony, received a warm ″welcome back″ from schoolchildren and zoo officials, but his son hit him with dirt, water and a punch in the posterior.

The 350-pound Bwana stoically endured most of the indignities heaped on him Monday by his son and rival, Mkubwa. He flashed his teeth and tossed the young upstart aside only a few times.

″These power plays have been going on for the past year and a half,″ zoo director Saul Kitchener said as Mkubwa - ″Kubie″ for short - tossed a handful of water into Bwana’s face.

″I think Kubie feels emboldened by Bwana’s absence. But I’ve never seen him do that - never.″

Bwana, whose age is estimated by veterinarians to be at least 29 years, became ill about four weeks ago. He’d been isolated from the other six gorillas since Oct. 17 while he was treated for a kidney infection.

When Bwana responded to the treatment last week, the big question remaining was how his absence and weakened condition might affect the rivalry with his 230-pound, 10-year-old son.

As the pair met on Monday, Bwana moved slowly about the enclosure and Kubie bounded about, tossing water, clapping his hands in his father’s face and otherwise making himself a pest but avoiding violent confrontations.

″Bwana is just being a tolerant parent,″ Kitchener said. ″If he wanted to put a stop to this, he could.″

Kitchener said the rivalry is normal gorilla behavior in zoos and the wild.

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