Animals and humans alike have been told to evacuate from the path of Hurricane Irma. For many, the warning is well heeded, but the storm has still left countless others stranded and looking for help.
Among them are the plucky “gypsy chickens” of Key West.
According to the Miami Herald, there are over 100 chickens roaming free on the island, technically an invasive species but treated as friends by locals and visitors. Many of them are generations removed from the birds used for cockfighting in the 1970s, before the practice was banned and the chickens were abandoned on the streets of Key West.
As Irma began its assault on the island, others packed up and left for drier climates, but the chickens were seemingly left to fend for themselves in the hurricane. Until one local man decided he wasn’t going to let foul weather discomfort his fowl friends.
Jayesh Mani collected as many chickens as he could, wrapped them snugly, and escorted them out of harm’s way in the backseat of his car.
“CHICKEN EVACUATION. Gotta love the people in Key West! Thank you to Local Selfie Celeb Jayesh Mani for doing what the rest of us only wished for! #onlyinkeywest,” Amber DeBevec, owner of Key West Finest, posted to Facebook.
A picture of the chickens in the back of Mani’s car has been shared almost 50,000 times since first posted, but we have to assume the chickens are just as appreciative.
“Jayesh Mani is the man on a mission,” DeBevec told Weather.com. “The chickens have been delivered to another helpful friend in Key West and are safe. Jayesh is lovingly known as the Selfie King of Key West. Locals clammed to get a coveted ‘Jelfie’ with our hometown hero.”
“Please keep us in your prayers, as many of our friends have stayed behind to ride out the storm,” she continued.
The chickens aren’t the only ones who made it through Irma safely. The 72-year-old manager of Ernest Hemingway’s estate, and the 54 polydactyl cats that call it home, found a way to weather the storm safely as well. Click the button below to read more!
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