Not your typical pet. A resident of St. Petersburg has been keeping a crow for many years. Together they go on walks, go shopping and ride the subway.
The bird has become a favorite of his neighbors and visitors of the park where the two inseparable friends are spending most of their time. Alexander Brius met the majestic and clever bird.
Rubbing noses against one another is not a typical manly hello, but it’s the most endearing one. The have been united by a lack of love towards the same woman - Alexey’s ex-wife, who brought the bird in 5 years ago and was too much to take for the both of them.
A huge cage takes almost half of his room. They both sacrifice space for the sake of a true manly friendship. They even ride the subway together.
Alexey Denisov: “We walk nicely with him. I have taught him no to scare children when we are outside”
He is recognized in nearby stores. Zhora is a regular client at the meats sections. 100 grams of ground beef before a walk has become a tradition. Alexey is ready to spend on treats for his beloved pet.
Zhora protects his master from yard dogs – with his menacing look and sharp beak.
Alexey Denisov: “We play. I make toys for him. Sometimes I sit and read, while patting him on the head”
They both wear special garments for outside walks. Both. Alexey wears a jacket with a thick sleeve, Zhora has a bird leash – specially designed by Alexey himself.
To keep him from being naughty, he attaches it to the bird’s feet. Although he can even put his own finger with no fear into the bird’s open beak.
A black crow is considered in top10 of the smartest birds, that’s why it’s easy to train. He understands several commands like “stay close”, “at ease” and “to the foot”. When everything works out, he is endearingly called “an eagle”
The only thing the crow hasn’t got used to is rivalry. In their manly relations, every third person is an unwanted one.
Alexey Denisov: “He keeps harassing them. If he sees the same woman taking a walk with us, for instance, once he sort of accidentally hit her on the head with his wing. But it’s clear he deliberately tries to scare them away”
That’s given that he enjoys all the attention himself, literally basking in fame every time they are out. Alexey is not jealous.
Alexander Brius, reporter: “Sometimes, Zhora’s girlfriend – Shadow – joins him for a walk. Together they like to sit on this branch. They talk loudly, sometimes even going into disputes”
It seems all the same as in the human world. Only now, Zhora – having already had a sour experience – would not trade his friend Alexey on a grumpy bird.