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~A Guardian Angel With Wings~

BRISTOL, England - A parrot helped rescue a man trapped under the wheels of a van by mimicking his calls for help.

Sonny, a nine-year-old red and green Macaw, drew attention to the plight of Richard Stone, whose van had rolled forward onto him, crushing his leg. Stone, 58, left his van to open some gates at Cheddar, Somerset, western England, but forgot to set the hand brake.

As evening drew in, he feared his cries of distress would go unanswered. No-one was nearby and he was far from the nearest road.

But 100 yards away, at the Broadway Caravan Park, Sonny heard Stone's shouts and repeated them. The bird's squawks of "HELP" alerted Richard Herd and Jeremy Burstow, who work at the park.

"We were at the bottom end of the park when we heard Sonny squawking "Help, help, help", Herd said yesterday.

"At first we thought someone was winding Sonny up, but as soon as we got there he stopped making the noise. In the distance, we could hear a man's voice shouting out so we rushed out of the park to see what was going on."

Burstow reversed the van off of Stone's leg.

Stone, who suffered only severe bruising to his ankle, said he was in terrible pain. "I thought I was going to be stuck under the van all night long," he said. "Sonny is a real lifesaver, I don't know what would have happened if he had not heard me."

Che Moore, the parrot's owner, said Sonny was normally rather shy. "He usually mimics people when they have gone away. He can say `hello` and `goodbye` and knows a few of the people who work here by name." Duncan Bolton, curator of Bristol Zoo, said: "If a parrot hears a call from a distance, it will try to answer it in whatever way it feels appropriate. It treated the cries for help as another parrot calling and responded in the same way."