PINE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — A menagerie of parrots has been rescued from a Pine Island bird sanctuary after its owners refused to evacuate without them in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
The mission, dubbed "Operation Noah's Ark," transported two lemurs and 275 exotic birds to West Palm Beach, where they will be housed until a collapsed bridge can be repaired and normal life restored to the island.
About a dozen volunteers caught and caged the parrots, then ferried them to Fort Myers using a small fleet of boats.
Hurricane Ian battered Southwest Florida a week ago with 150 mph gusts, making some roads impassable and islands inaccessible.
The birds have food, thanks to donations by wildlife officials. But soon, treats, including fruit and peanuts, will be hard to come by since roadways aren't impassable and gasoline is hard to come back.
While many search and rescue missions have focused on humans, some pets have also been rescued.
With the help of Project Dynamo, at least six dogs and three cats have been rescued.
Heavy rains and wind-driven ocean surges brought dangerous flooding.