Will and his partner Lauren would not leave their Pine Island compound in Florida, even as authorities pleaded with residents to abandon their homes because of damaged roads, including a collapsed bridge that prevented deliveries of food, gas and other life-sustaining supplies as a result of Hurricane Ian.
The couple could not leave without their two lemurs and flock of birds, 275 parrots, including some of the world's rarest.
So a rescue mission, dubbed “Operation Noah's Ark”, was launched Tuesday to catch, cage and ferry the birds off the island, as a way to persuade Will and Lauren to leave the island.
In the hours before the storm, the sanctuary owners herded their flock of birds and packed them into their home to shield them from the worst of the storm.
The volunteers stuck nets and their bare hands into cages to gather the birds in cages. The birds, from macaws to cockatoos and rare specimens of king parrots (only two dozen pairs of which are kept in the United States)