The story of several neglected birds in a small Ohio town went, as the media world would call it, viral in August. The rescue efforts seemed to drag on forever. It must have seemed like a lifetime for the birds. Now that they are free, though, the story has fallen quiet. Until now, of course.
I followed the story on the flock of several exotic birds now being called the Troy Angels all across the country, and other parts of the globe in the beginning of August until they were released from the grasp of someone too stubborn to ask for help and too careless to realize when he was in over his head.
Huckaby believes the birds residing at Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary miss the rest of their flock. “They have that far away look and it is almost as if they are asking for the others.” Michelle Masud, who accompanied Huckaby to Ohio for the rescue mission, told me “This breeding has to stop. There are too many unwanted birds and it’s just getting worse.’
Sixteen birds were rescued from the home in the beginning of September. Debbie Huckaby says the birds are still in quarantine, but they are doing well. They eat well, and some even take food from her hand. “They are learning not to be afraid,” Huckaby told me.
One bird, however, is getting a little different treatment. Meet Lucas, the Indian Ringneck Parakeet rescued with no mate. He is missing all but one of his toes, but they have completely healed, indicating it may have been an old injury. It is unclear if they were nibbled off by the larger birds or possibly even rats.
Lucas was lucky to escape infection of the gnawed on toes. He resides in North Carolina with Michelle Masud. The rescuers thought Lucas would do better with one on one care due to his disability. He has low perches in his cage, as he falls often, lacking the balance. Masud says Lucas will never be able to fly because he would not be able to land properly. A landing gone bad could injure even the healthiest, equipped bird.
In addition to his missing toes, Lucas also had a severely overgrown beak. His beak has since been trimmed; nearly a half an inch taken off. He is said to have a beak deformity as well. Masud says he has made a lot of progress. When Lucas first came to her, he would scream if she walked past the cage. Now, however, she can hold him. This does not go without effort, obviously. Like the rest of the flock, he has some problems trusting people.
Masud says, “He gets me laughing and has realized this and really puts on a show.” Despite what people have done, he still knows laughter and is willing to provide it. Aside from his toes and slightly malformed beak, Lucas is healthy and doing well, hopping to get where he needs to go.
“They still have a ways to go in the trust of humans,” Huckaby said. “After what they have been through, though, I do not blame them.”