A pet-owner from Belleville, Illinois got that sinking feeling while trying to rescue his escaped parrot from the middle of a mud-choked lake bed.
Take your parrot to the park, they said, It'll be fun, they said. They were wrong, we said. No doubt John Crawford and his majestic blue-and-yellow macaw, Amigo, would agree, now that they've been rescued from a dubious fate by the Belleville Fire Department.
According to Crawford, he often hikes or bikes around Bicentennial Park with Amigo perched upon his shoulder, pirate-style. A couple he met at the park asked if they could see Amigo fly, so Crawford complied.
Amigo soared into the sky like a pro... only to land in the middle of a muddy lake that had recently been drained by city workers prior to dredging. When Crawford attempted to reach his muddied macaw, he became trapped himself.
“It was like quicksand,” he explained. The couple who had asked for Amigo's flight demo called 9-1-1 and the BFD quickly responded.
“He was probably several hundred feet out into the mud with the parrot on his back,” stated Fire Chief Tom Pour to the Belleville News-Democrat. “It was challenging because you couldn’t just walk out there and hoist him out.” Firefighters ended up deploying several ladders and a buoy during the rescue operation, which took about 15 minutes.
All the while, Amigo remained with his exhausted owner. “Parrot kind of squawked at him one time, but he seemed to be perfectly friendly,” added Pour. “It was a pretty unusual thing.” Check out the video at KMOV-TV Belleville's site for more info.