Parrots swoop in for Merkel swan song
Berlin, Sep 24: The German chancellor met some colorful constituents ahead of Sunday's German general election — although it can be confirmed they won't be voting for her party.
A flock of Australian rainbow lorikeets was on hand — literally — as Angela Merkel took a trip to Vogelpark Marlow bird park, near Rostock in northeastern Germany.
The birds fluttered around the German leader and ate from a small paper cup filled with "lori nectar," made from dried flower pollen, fruit sugar, cereal and water.
Merkel — who has been chancellor for almost 16 years — was on a farewell tour of her home constituency in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
A warm welcome was also waiting in the wings from the park's budgies, who happily ate millet from the chancellor's palm.
Merkel was less keen to take hold of an altogether larger feathered friend — the European eagle owl — the DPA news agency reported.
"No, no. I did fine with the parakeets," she said.
Instead, Merkel left the photo opportunity to 33-year-old Georg Günther, her successor as Christian Democrat (CDU) candidate in the Vorpommern-Rügen — Vorpommern Greifswald I constituency.
Merkel is set to step down in the wake of Sunday's election, once a new chancellor is chosen.
Among those vying to take over are the Social Democrats' Olaf Scholz, Annalena Baerbock from the Greens and the Christian Democrats' Armin Laschet.