Harri the Sea Princess stowaway galah home again
Having flown the coop for a cruise adventure of a ‘birdtime’, Harri the stowaway galah returned to Brisbane today on Sea Princess for an emotional family reunion at the Portside Cruise Terminal.
Family members Michelle and Brett Cozzi and four-year-old daughter Georgia delivered Harri’s birdcage to the terminal and then waited patiently while Harri received a pre-disembarkation veterinary check, which, as expected, she passed with flying colours.
During her 14-day New Zealand cruise odyssey, Environmental Officer Tibor Filipovic was Harri’s friendly onboard guardian under the watchful eye of the ship’s Master, Commodore Giuseppe Romano, as they followed the strict biosecurity guidelines that enabled fully fledged Australian bird citizen Harri to return to Brisbane.
Now an honorary crew member with her own laminated crew identity card, Harri made world headlines after being found on Sea Princess between Brisbane and New Zealand days after escaping from her cage in suburban Nundah with the family fearing their pet was gone forever.
In an extraordinary twist, the Cozzi family was cruising on sister line P&O’s Pacific Aria off Queensland when they received word from Australian Agriculture Department officials that microchipped Harri was on her own cruise adventure to New Zealand.
“We are very excited to have Harri home because she is a much-loved member and indispensable part of our family,” Michelle Cozzi said.
“We’d hoped for her safe return but after Harri had been gone for a few days, it wasn’t looking good. It was amazing to discover she had been found on another cruise ship. It was just the best news possible.”
Commodore Romano and Environmental Officer Filipovic said they were pleased to be able to safely return Harri to her Brisbane family but also said the crew would miss their Aussie shipmate.
“The entire ship’s company has come to love Harri and she has been a very good shipmate and no trouble at all,” Commodore Romano said. “But we could also see that Harri was missing her human family so it is a great pleasure to be able to reunite them today.”
Harri’s return is the result of a cooperative effort in which the cruise line, the Sea Princess onboard team and government authorities on both sides of the Tasman combined to ensure biosecurity requirements were followed to the letter so that Harri could come home.
“We have been pleased to contribute to such a positive outcome in a story that has captured the imagination of so many people here and around the world,” said Stuart Allison, Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific.
“The Sea Princess team set the scene for today’s family reunion with the professional way in which they responded to Harri’s discovery on their vessel.
“It has also been a great pleasure to work cooperatively with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries and the Australian Department of Agriculture to happily resolve Harri’s stowaway adventure.”