Confusing a diamond stud earring for a tasty snack, a mischievous six-month-old pet cockerel named Sarah (despite being a male) pecked off the flashy bauble from his owner’s earlobe and swallowed it down. Now it looks as if bird lover Claire Lennon might have to wait eight years to get it back.
Lennon, a resident of Berkshire in the U.K., told the Daily Mirror that the pet bird was happily perched on her shoulder when she suddenly felt a sharp pain. The bird had pulled out the earring and in an instant it was gone.
X-rays confirmed that the earring was lodged in the cockerel’s gizzard and unlikely to pass via natural methods, according to the family’s veterinarian. The diamond stud is now a permanent part of Sarah’s anatomy because the owner will not consider life-threatening surgery on the family pet.
"The vet said he could operate to recover the earring,” Lennon told the Daily Mirror, “but that might kill Sarah, which would devastate our six-year-old daughter Mia. She adores Sarah.”
The final option is waiting for nature to take its course. Sarah is likely to live for eight years, so Lennon and her family are going to patiently wait for the bird to naturally die of old age.
By then, the veterinarian said, the white gold setting is likely to be ground down by the digestive powers of bird’s gizzard, while the diamond — the world’s hardest material — will remain intact.
The consumed diamond stud is one of a pair that Lennon received from her partner, Adam. It’s valued at about $500, making Sarah one of the most valuable cockerels in Britain.
"We're keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't get caught, carried off and eaten by a fox, or the diamond will be gone forever,” Lennon said.
The male bird was named Sarah because as a chick the family assumed he was a she. When they eventually learned he was a cockerel they decided to keep the name. It kind of reminds us of the famous Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue.”