A Bangladeshi court ruled on Monday that a lovesick macaw parrot be reunited with her male partner after she stopped eating in the wake of their separation.
The macaw named Princess has been fasting since January 3 when her long-time companion Prince was handed back to his owner Iqram Selim who had left him in the hands of a private zoo in Dhaka for safe keeping five years ago.
A magistrate's court in the capital Dhaka ruled that Princess should stay with Selim, saying it would be cruel to separate her from her mate after such a long period and could lead to her death, lawyers and family sources said.
The zoo owner, Abdul Wadud, bought Princess from a dealer in Brazil as a partner for Prince and the couple got on so well that she gave birth to three chicks in September 2011, according to Wadud's lawyer Barun Biswash.
After Wadud refused to return Prince, Selim won a court order last week and was reunited with his gold and blue parrot last on Thursday.
But after Princess went on hunger strike, Wadud decided to appeal the order and the court ruled on Monday in his favour.
The macaws, which are usually found in South American rainforests, can fetch up to $2,500 when bought individually but the price for breeding pairs can be several times higher.
Wildlife experts said that Princess's refusal to take food following the separation was quite normal as the species is generally monogamous once they have found a suitable mate.
Selim's father, Mohammed Selim, said his son only ever meant for Prince to be looked after by Wadud for a short period of time.
"My son gave him to Wadud because he had to move to a rented house, where there was no space to keep it. He thought a private zoo would be a good place for Prince to live," Selim senior said.
Wadud said he had not been able to sleep since the parrots were forced apart in the original court ruling.
"You cannot break a family, this is just not right," Wadud said.