The Belleville Fire Department was greeted by an unusual, winged guest while responding to a mud rescue Sunday afternoon.
First responders arrived at the Bicentennial Park near Belleville Crossing Street around 4:30 p.m. where John Crawford was trapped waist-deep in an empty muddy lake.
Crawford was rescued successfully while a blue-and-yellow Macaw parrot named Amigo stood firmly on top of his shoulders throughout the entire ordeal.
The rescue was captured on video. The parrot remained on Crawford's shoulder the entire time, even when the firefighters were spraying the mud off of him afterwards.
Crawford spoke only to News 4 about what happened. He said he was at Bicentennial Park showing Amigo to a couple. He says he often bikes and walks around town letting people see his bird and show it off.
The couple wanted to see the bird fly, so Crawford released it and the parrot landed in some mud in the middle of an empty lake. The city of Belleville is currently digging up the lake to make it deeper and a lot of the mud is soft and saturated.
"It was like quicksand," said Crawford, who went down into the empty lake to retrieve his parrot, but before he could even get to the bird he sunk waist deep.
The couple he was with called 9-1-1.
Belleville Fire Department responded. They used ladders and a buoy to pull Crawford out of the mud. Fire chief Tom Pour says Amigo cooperated with firefighters during the entire rescue.
"Parrot kind of squawked at him one time, but he seemed to be perfectly friendly," said Pour.
Both Crawford and Amigo were not injured.
Chief Pour says this rescue is a good reminder that if you ever do something risky or out of the ordinary, you should never be by yourself without any help. Crawford says he's thankful the couple was at the park with him and were able to call 9-1-1.
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