Juji the bird CREDIT XAVIER CHATEL TWITTER.jpeg
Juji the bird gifted to the Ambassador of France in the United Arab Emirates (Picture: Xavier Chatel Twitter).
Afghanistan

Afghan Girl's Pet Bird Juji Finds Sanctuary With French Ambassador

The French envoy taught the bird to speak French and has vowed to return the mynah to its owner one day.

Juji the bird CREDIT XAVIER CHATEL TWITTER.jpeg
Juji the bird gifted to the Ambassador of France in the United Arab Emirates (Picture: Xavier Chatel Twitter).

A French ambassador has been telling the heart-warming story of how he saved a pet bird belonging to a girl evacuated from Afghanistan.

Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France in the United Arab Emirates, has been looking after the mynah, named 'Juji', even teaching it to speak French.

He has also pledged to one day try to return the bird to its owner.

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Posting in a series of tweets, Mr Chatel said: "During the Afghan evacuation operation, a girl arrived at Al Dhafra airbase, exhausted, with an unusual possession: a bird.

"She had fought all the way at Kabul airport, to bring the treasured little thing with her."

He added: "For sanitary reasons, the bird could not embark on the plane from AD to [France].

"She cried silently. I was moved.

"I promised to take care of the bird at the [French] residence, feed him. She could visit him anytime and take him back. I won't forget her look of desperate gratefulness."

Mr Chatel continued, recalling the "energetic little mynah" making "a big mess" in his car during the evacuation mission.

"He hid beneath the seat and wouldn't budge," the ambassador added.

"When I tried to talk him into coming back, the fierce little fellow showed me that if he survived the Kabul airport, I was no match.

"I bought him a nice cage, fed him, took him out in the cool mornings so he could see other birds.

"He has a girlfriend now – a dove that visits him every day.

"So he loosened and started, at night, to say mysterious things, in a language we couldn't understand. He spoke!"

The bird eventually began speaking French, saying: "Bonjour," which the ambassador admits "went straight to my heart".

Mr Chatel finished his Twitter thread by saying Juji's owner had been in contact, and he pledged to take the mynah to her one day if he can.