WHO’S a clever boy then? A talking pet parrot has been hailed a hero for saving the lives of five premature puppies.

Mimicking his owner Suzanna Bolton’s voice, 18-year-old African Grey parrot Sam squawked a distress call in her ear after going upstairs and jumping onto her bed in the dead of the night.

Sam woke Suzanna with calls to ‘come on, come on’ before leading her to the pups.

Mrs Bolton’s four-year-old Pomeranian bitch Sally had gone into labour a week early and both she and her puppies were in distress on a cold and wet kitchen floor.

Mrs Bolton, 55, of Anchor Avenue, Darwen, said: “Sam is allowed to roam around out of his cage, but parrots are not known to move at night.

“That night he seemed to know what was going on and came looking for me to help.

“He’s never been in my bedroom before in the eight years I’ve had him, but he came up the stairs, climbed on the bed and started talking to me in my own voice with the words “come on, come on”, which I often say to Sally.

“I wondered what on earth was going on and took Sam back downstairs to his perch, but then he looked at me and squawked.

“It was then I looked in the kitchen and saw the puppies. One had died and the other five boys were all very, very cold and wet. I quickly got the heat pads out for them and got them next to a radiator, and luckily they’re now doing well.

“I honestly believe that if Sam hadn’t have acted how he did, then the others could have died too during the night.”

Mrs Bolton bought Sam from an Urdu speaker when he was 10 years old and he knew no English.

Now he is able to accurately mimick several members of Mrs Bolton’s family.

She added: “He knows that if my grandson shouts ‘Nana!’ then I’ll come running immediately, so when Sam wants me quickly, he uses my grandson’s voice to shout Nana too.

“It’s very, very difficult to tell the difference between Sam’s impression and the real thing.

“He’s really very intelligent and everyone says how amazing it is that he’s managed to save the puppies.”

Mrs Bolton hopes to give the puppies to new homes once they are old enough.