The city of Aurora, Ill. on Friday took over cleanup duties at the home of an animal hoarder who the city estimates had at least 300 live birds.
Dave Skeberdis, 57, had faced a Friday deadline in his attempt to clear the birds' mess -- and avoid a big cleanup fee -- before city workers were to enter the home and remedy the health hazard but was not successful in that effort.
The first bird was removed from Skeberdis' home just after 9 a.m. Friday and, by 3 p.m., 249 live birds had been removed from the property in the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
More than 300 live birds, which were described as being in good condition, and 120 dead ones were removed from the home by a crew of seven by the day's end, according to the Chicago Tribune.
City officials told CBS Chicago mold levels in the home were up to 15 times normal rates due to waist-deep debris piles and floors caked with bird droppings and feed.
The experience was an emotional one for Skeberdis, who previously admitted that his birds had become an "obsession." He said his obsession began when he rescued a wild parakeet seven years ago and, before long, his bird became "more like children."
Skeberdis' hoarding habit was brought to the attention of city officials last week after a painting contractor working outside his home noticed several dead birds.
The birds will next be quarantined for at least a month before they will be put up for adoption by the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club, which has taken the birds in at their Villa Park storefront.
Those interested in helping with the birds' recovery, may donate to the GCBC via their website.