Fire-fighter tries CPR to save parrot

2011-06-29 00:00

A SUPERINTENDENT fire officer applied mouth-to-beak resuscitation in a desperate attempt to save a family’s beloved pet parrot after a house caught fire in Ladysmith.

Superintendent Dawie Viljoen was in the Ladysmith fire department team that was called out to a fire last week.

As black smoke billowed from the home the owner pleaded with fire-fighters to try to save her parrot, named Timol.

Within seconds, Viljoen raced to find the bird on the floor of its cage, unconscious.

“It’s body is still warm,” said Viljoen as he walked out of the house and stood in the clear air.

Viljoen carefully tried to resuscitate the bird by administering mouth-to-beak breathing and heart massage, while neighbours coaxed the bird. “Come on little bird,” said one.

After many attempts Viljoen had to accept that the African Grey could not be saved.

Sad neighbours thanked Viljoen.

“We all know that it was only an animal, but to have seen an officer going out of his way to help the bird is wonderful,” said one neighbour, who watched as Viljoen tenderly placed the dead bird aside.

Viljoen told The Witness yesterday he has never performed artificial respiration before, but knows how to do it.

“It was the first time. When I felt the parrot’s body was still warm, I thought I would take a chance as there was a remote possibility that it could maybe survive.”

He said he spent a few minutes trying to revive the limp bird, but then had to accept that Timol was dead.

Viljoen said it made sense to him to have a go at resuscitation as he comes from a family of animal and bird lovers.

The fire was extinguished by the local fire department.

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