Metro-East News

Man with pet parrot on his shoulder is rescued from waist-deep mud at Belleville park

He was just trying to rescue his bird, but he ended up needing a rescue himself.

A Belleville man got stuck in waist-deep mud Sunday afternoon when his pet parrot flew off his shoulder and into the center of one of the dredged lakes at Bicentennial Park.

Fire crews were called to the scene at 4:30 p.m. after a bystander in the park heard the man calling for help. When crews arrived, they faced a sticky situation, Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour said.

“He was probably several hundred feet out into the mud with the parrot on his back,” Pour said Sunday evening. “It was challenging because you couldn’t just walk out there and hoist him out. It was like quicksand.”

Firefighters laid multiple ladders down on drier parts of the lake in order to create a bridge of sorts. It took 15 minutes for the man to be pulled out.

Pour said the man bikes around with the parrot on his shoulder often, but this was the first time they’d run into a problem like this.

“It was a pretty unusual thing,” he said.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic