updated 1/23/2006 1:12:41 PM ET 2006-01-23T18:12:41

A tale of illicit romance busted by a talkative parrot is being questioned.

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Published in the online edition of the Times of London on Jan. 17 and picked up on, the story went that a 30-year-old British computer programmer grew suspicious of his live-in girlfriend when his pet parrot began to imitate her, saying, “I love you, Gary.” The programmer's name was Chris.

Ziggy, an 8-year-old African gray parrot, would also make kissing noises whenever the name Gary was mentioned on TV and would mimic Suzy Collins saying, “Hiya, Gary,” every time she answered her mobile phone, the story said.

Confronted with the evidence, according to the Times, Collins admitted to a month-long affair with a coworker named Gary and moved out of their shared Leeds apartment that same night.

But when a U.S. reporter looked into the tale, he found similarities between it and others published in Israel and Germany. The reporter said that freelancer Paul Hardaker, who wrote the original story, would not reveal his sources so the story could be checked.

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