A man has undergone surgery to remove both ears in order to look more like his pet parrots.
Ted Richards, 56, who has already had his face and eyeballs tattooed to resemble his birds, had his ears removed in a six-hour operation.
He said: “I’ve done it because I want to look like my parrots as much as possible. I think it looks really great. I love it.
“It’s the best thing that has happened to me. I am so happy it’s unreal. I can’t stop looking in the mirror.”
Eccentric Ted is obsessed by feathered pets Ellie, Teaka, Timneh, Jake, and Bubi, and has his face tattooed with colourful feathers in tribute. He also sports 110 tattoos, 50 piercings and a split tongue.
He has even given his severed ears to a friend who “will appreciate them” and is now planning to find a surgeon prepared to turn his nose into a beak.
Ted is not revealing the name of the surgeon who carried out the controversial operation but insists he is “happier than ever,” and has even now got himself a girlfriend, Suzannah, 31.
The only issue following the surgery has been a difficultly keeping his glasses in place, so Ted has opted to have two small metal pins added to the side of his head.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ted has largely received positive reaction to his new look.
“The kids are running up to me and asking to see gory photos — they just love it,” he reveals. “They are just so fascinated. I was really surprised — I thought they were more likely to run away.
“I went to the supermarket the other day and when I went in I said ‘blimey it’s so windy out there it blew my ears off’ and everybody had a chuckle.
“There’s no doubt that when they made me they broke the mould. But seriously, I love the fact that I’m unique and I have always wanted to be different.”
Although Ted admits he used to get teased at school about his ears, he insists that is not the real reason he opted for the surgery.
Instead, he says his facial transformation is a tribute to his “babies” Ellie, a green winged macaw, and Teaka, a harlequin macaw.
He shares his home in Hartcliffe, Bristol with his four parrots, as well as South American green iguana Iggy, and pitbull terrier Candy.
Ted, a retired shoe factory worker, got his first tattoo in 1976 and has since built up a collection covering almost his entire body.
He has also had a peace sign branded on his shoulder with a 750ºC hot iron, and two magnets implanted in his hands.
Consultant plastic surgeon Marc Pacifico criticised the ethics of the doctor who removed Ted’s ears.
Mr Pacifico, a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: “I am absolutely horrified to learn that someone has voluntarily put themselves forward for this to be done and possibly more so that he found somebody to actually carry it out.
“The sad truth of life though is that if you want something badly enough you will eventually find someone willing to do it.
“I would like to think whoever did this is not medically qualified because that would call into judgment their ethics and morals.”
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