About Tuca

Passed on October 22, 2012

Tuca the Senegal parrot broke through her shell to enter the world on June 23, 1999 in Eden Prairie, MN. Two months later, she chose Teresa as her human companion by jumping on her shoulder at a pet store and nibbling on her ear. Tuca joined Teresa and Bruce’s household that day, and was its heart and soul for over 13 years.

Tuca was a very special bird who touched many lives, as can be seen by the tributes below. She was funny, smart and beautiful, and charmed everyone who met her with her antics and cheerful chatter. Teresa was a frequent participant on the Senegal listserv, and through her many posts and photos, many of the members of this remarkable online community came to know and love Tuca even though they never met her.

In June, 2005, Tuca flew out of the open garage door (her wings had always been clipped, so we didn’t think she could fly!) and was lost in the wilds of Southwest Minneapolis for 11 wrenching days. The Sennie list members were outstanding in their support and encouragement, and we also were helped by many neighbors as well as a number of wonderful people in our area who we’d never met before. On the 10th night, Tuca landed in the back garden of a woman named Sue who lived on Minnehaha Creek in St. Louis Park–over 4 miles from our home (apparently Tuca had found her way to the Creek, which is a block from our home, and spent those 11 days traveling along it). Tuca was near death, but Sue, who had pet birds as a child, took her in and gave her appropriate food and water, saving her life. The next day, Sue Googled “lost parrot Minneapolis” and miraculously found an article that Kim Ode had just written in the Star Tribune about Tuca’s disappearance. (The article originally was supposed to be about the connection people have with their pets, but turned into a tribute to the kindness of neighbors who did whatever they could to help us find our lost pet.) Sue called us on the afternoon of that 11th day, and when we went to her house and saw the bird she’d found we were not sure it was Tuca; she had lost one-third of her body weight and was too weak to do much. Sue agreed to let us take the bird home to see if we could confirm whether it was Tuca. The minute we walked through our door at home, it became clear that it was Tuca; as she recognized her home, she became animated, and when we opened the door of her transport cage, she said “I’ll be right back!” (one of her phrases) and flew to her play area. It was possibly the most joyous moment of our lives.

With love and care, Tuca recovered her health, and brought joy to our house for 7+ more years. On October 22, 2012, she died at the vet’s office during a routine annual exam; her little heart just stopped beating while the vet was drawing a small amount of blood from her neck (a procedure she’d had many times before). Her death was sudden and completely unexpected; the vet believes that she had an underlying medical condition, and the stress of the exam was simply too much for her. Tuca was cremated on October 23 at Pets Remembered Cremation in New Brighton. We will love and remember her forever.

In loving memory, Teresa and Bruce
PS, the links below take you to two of Tuca’s YouTube videos. There are more vids of Tuca on YouTube; search “Tuca Senegal” or pull down the tab at the top which has links to our other videos to see more. Please also sign our tribute area below or add a memory, if you like; it means so much to us.