“I almost went extinct too”: Citrus County veteran, rare bird rescued from Idalia floods

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (WFLA) — Citrus County responders rescued dozens of people Wednesday after Hurricane Idalia.

Accordingly Fire Rescue in Citrus County76 people were airboated from their homes after the area was inundated by several-foot storm surges exacerbated by the king tide cycle.

Many had their pets in tow, including 82-year-old Theodore Kazimiroff, who was unable to open his own front door due to the flooding. The US Army veteran and author was in good spirits despite the situation as rescue crews made a second airboat ride to recover his beloved pet birds.

“I love them because they’re sort of my children,” Kazimiroff said.

As explained by Kazimiroff, the Queen of Bavaria Parakeet — a Brazilian bird also known as the Golden Conure because of its bright yellow plumage — is a rare species with a small natural population.

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“If we can save them, we will be doing the species a service, not just this population,” Kazimiroff said. “Because without the DNA these two can contribute to the declining population in the wild, the species could become extinct.”

Soon after, firefighters returned in a hovercraft and carried the birdcage through the flood waters to reunite Kazimiroff with his beloved pets.

“I, too, almost became extinct, apart from the airboat rescue,” said Kazimiroff, laughing. “But this was a rescue that surpassed all hopes of a rescue.”

Citrus County search and rescue teams were assisted by members of the Crystal River Fire Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida National Guard and the Florida Forest Service.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

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