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This bird is – or was – a galah cockatoo, a native of Australia. In 1906, it was on board a French ship called the ‘Socoa’, which was sailing from Poland to America with a heavy cargo of cement. The cement was going to help rebuild the city of San Francisco, which had been virtually destroyed by one of the worst earthquakes in history. But on the 31st July, in thick fog, the Socoa ran aground on rocks near Cadgwith Cove.  


This bird escaped from the ship and flew inland, ending up at Mount Hermon Farm, where it was caught and adopted by Mr and Mrs Bosustow, who thought it was a parrot and named him Henry after their grandson. 


But what happened to the Socoa? In order to get off the rocks sailors had to lighten the ship by throwing 50,000 barrels of cement overboard. Today, divers can still see their remains on the seabed.


Copyright Museum of Cornish Life 

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