A fire Monday morning killed dozens of exotic birds. A Broken Arrow couple says they lost as many as 40 of their pets when the mobile home they were in burned down. The News On 6â€™s Chris Wright reports Jackie and Archie Hawkins estimate that their birds were worth as much as $100,000, but say they lost something much more valuable than money.
"I'll miss them. I'll miss them all, a lot, even the ones that bit me," said Jackie Hawkins.
Hawkins and her husband have spent the past 20 years collecting parrots, cockatoos and other exotic birds. They ran a small breeding business out of the trailer behind their home.
The Hawkins lost all of their beloved pets when the trailer went up in flames early Monday morning.
"I went â€˜oh my gosh, the birds, the birds.â€™ My husband and I jumped out of bed, and ran out here thinking we could get them, but we couldn't," Hawkins said.
Broken Arrow firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the Hawkins home, but the trailer and everything inside was a complete loss. The Hawkins say just looking at the burned cages is difficult.
Jackie Hawkins says she spent every morning out in her trailer singing and dancing with her birds, and losing them is just like losing a family member.
"Every morning the music goes on, and mama dances with her babies,â€ said Hawkins. â€œSome of them get on my arm, and some of them get on my shoulder, and we'd just dance around."
Hawkins says besides dancing, the birds loved to talk. Most of them could speak, and they weren't exactly bashful.
The birds also didn't like being cooped up, and Hawkins says at least they are no longer stuck in their cages.
"They're flying free. No more cages, they're just flying free," she said.
One of the Hawkinsâ€™ birds did survive the fire. They say a friend in Tahlequah has been looking after it, so it wasn't in the trailer Sunday morning.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Watch the video: Trailer Fire Kills Dozens Of Exotic Birds
WEB EXTRA: Birds Killed In Fire