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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 12:05 p.m., Monday, December 17, 2001

One winged Waikiki worker still missing

By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer

Punky the missing macaw has been found.

Owner Irwin Wantman, who reported Punky and an eclectus parrot named Angel missing last Thursday, said another parrot fancier called him this morning after The Advertiser published a story about the missing birds.

Wantman said the other bird man told him he had paid another man $100 for the bird, which Wantman says is worth $2,000.

The eclectus remains missing.

Known for working the streets in Waikiki, the birds were last seen on a video surveillance tape leaving the Scandia Towers condominium on Kapahulu Avenue on Thursday with a middle-aged woman and a young, well-dressed man.

Irwin "Chuck" Wantman shows off his macaw Peter. He says one of his parrots is still missing.

Eughene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

Irwin "Chuck" Wantman, a 69-year-old ex-biology teacher, was terrified that something had happened to them.

"I dream that maybe Punky has been drowned," he said earlier before the bird's recovery. "He's my very own most precious pet."

Punky and Angel are parrots — a green-winged macaw and a cute little red eclectus from the South Pacific, worth about $2,000 and $600, respectively.

Punky's the punk rocker, because he rocks back and forth on his perch. God knows how Angel got her name.

Wantman, a player in Hawai'i's lucrative parrot picture business, says independent pitchmen who sell photos of his birds on tourists' shoulders split as much as $200 to $300 a day with him.

He spent $100 at Kinko's yesterday making fliers offering a reward for the return of his birds.

Anyone with information on the still missing bird is asked to call 922-4521.

Wantman believes Punky, Angel and four other parrots were taken by a cleaning woman. The others were caught that day flying around Honolulu Zoo.

They are Mary and Caesar, two little Sun Conures worth about $350 each; Tuxedo the $1,000 African Gray; and a blue and gold $1,000 Macaw named Peter.

Reach Walter Wright at wwright@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8054.