Reporting Mike Krauser
VILLA PARK, Ill. (CBS) – Hundreds of birds that had been flying free in a trash-strewn townhome in Aurora were in a new home on Saturday.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports a total of 358 birds were rescued from David Skeberdis’ home on Shadybrook Lane in Aurora this week, after his home was declared a nuisance property by the city of Aurora.
Barbara Morris and a team of volunteers from the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club have been caring for the birds at a Villa Park storefrtont, after they were rescued by professional contractors on Friday.
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Skeberdis had tried to capture the birds on his own beginning Wednesday night, but managed to capture only about a dozen by a 10 a.m. deadline on Friday. That’s when Aurora officials sent in private contractors to remove the rest of the birds.
“They took in nets. It was a team of seven men who went into the home in hazmat gear, because of the … extraordinarily high mold levels within the home,” Morris said.
Officials have said mold levels inside Skeberdis’ home were up to 15 times normal levels, making the home unfit for anyone to go inside. However, Skeberdis wanted to try to remove the birds himself, rather than face a bill of more than $13,000 from the city to pay for professional removal.
Despite the unsanitary conditions inside his house – which had waist-deep piles of debris, and floors covered with bird feed and bird droppings – Morris said the birds that were rescued appear healthy.
“They’re doing remarkably well. I mean, we are very pleased to see how well they are doing, because we didn’t really have a handle on what the conditions of the birds were, considering the condition of the home,” she said.
However, Aurora officials said another 125 dead birds were found inside Skeberdis’ home.
The rescued birds will be quarantined for at least 30 days, then put up for adoption.
“They will be assessed for any issues that aren’t readily apparent, and then after that point we will begin an adoption process,” Morris said. “Probably … 95, 98 percent of the birds are parakeets. We have a button quail, three doves, about 10 conures I believe, one canary, and one or two cockatiels.”