Lucky the parrot bludgeoned to death, tossed down rubbish chute; owner's stepmum jailed

Ms Yu Mei Ling, 26, with Lucky.
Ms Yu Mei Ling, 26, with Lucky.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF YU MEI LING
Tran Thi Thuy Hang opened the pet bird's cage and bludgeoned it to death with a bamboo pole before tossing it down a rubbish chute.
Tran Thi Thuy Hang opened the pet bird's cage and bludgeoned it to death with a bamboo pole before tossing it down a rubbish chute.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Lucky the parrot was anything but after it pecked the face of her owner's stepmother.

Tran Thi Thuy Hang opened the pet bird's cage and bludgeoned it to death before tossing it down a rubbish chute.

The 38-year-old Vietnamese manicurist was sentenced to four weeks' jail on Wednesday (Aug 1) after pleading guilty last month to ill-treating Lucky.

Ms Yu Mei Ling, 26, was carrying Lucky on her shoulder in the living room of her Sengkang flat when Hang returned home from work on Oct 27 last year.

As the Singapore permanent resident walked past, the parrot flew towards her and bit her right cheek.

Tran then ran into her room and complained to her husband Mr Yu Ching Meng, 60. The pair married in 2005.

"In anger, (Hang) demanded that the parrot be removed from the house immediately, failing which she would kill the parrot," Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan told the court.

The next day, after Mr Yu and his daughter left the flat at around 8am, Hang took a bamboo laundry pole, opened the parrot's cage and hit it several times until it died.

After Mr Yu returned home from his breakfast, Hang showed her husband the bird carcass and told him what she had done, then dumped the bird carcass and its cage down the central rubbish chute outside their flat.

A week later, Ms Yu called the police and the AVA was alerted to the case.

In his sentencing, District Judge Adam Nakhoda said that Hang's actions were cruel, calculated and deliberate.

For animal cruelty, Hang could have been jailed for up to 18 months and fined up to $15,000.

When contacted by The Straits Times, Ms Yu said that she was glad the case has come to a close.

She added that she was reluctant at first to inform the authorities, but decided to after Hang was not apologetic about Lucky's death.

"Most of my neighbours know my parrot, and everyone plays with him. He is not aggressive at all," said Ms Yu, who is a national netballer.

"I don't know why he would reach out to bite her. I was shocked too, it was the first time he did something like that."

She added that her father gave her Lucky as a gift when the bird was about one year old. Her father chose the name because he thought it would bring them luck. The parrot, who was seven when he died, was missed by her father too, said Ms Yu.

Last December, Ms Yu got another parrot of the same species - a Sun Conure - for her father as a birthday gift, after asking Hang if she was agreeable. He named the five-week-old bird Lucky.