Rhea, a lovebird, had a viral infection called Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), which attacks the bird’s feather follicles, and could cause malformation in their beaks and claws.
She almost died and lost all her feathers. Good news is, Rhea only have a mild case of PBFD, and though there is no cure for the disease yet and it caused her unable to fly, Rhea still moves around with ease.
The strong little bird recovered, but the veterinarians said her feathers can never grow back. When her previous owners heard that, they left Rhea at the Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in Boston, because she did not like her anymore.
The clinic posted Rhea’s photo on their Facebook page in the hopes that somebody would be kind enough to adopt her.
Luckily, Isabella Eisenmann saw it and immediately contacted the vet’s office to adopt Rhea.
Rhea quickly settled in Eisenmann’s house and spent her time playing with her dog siblings. Her mom decided to make an Instagram account for Rhea and had thousands of followers.
“At the beginning, I got a lot of negative comments regarding her physical appearance,” Eisenmann has told The Daily Mail. “I didn’t really care, and wanted to make people understand that different is beautiful. I really wanted people to learn to accept her, and most importantly, I wanted those who are different to accept themselves, just like Rhea accepts and loves herself.”
Because Rhea did not have feathers, her followers sent her little hand-knitted sweaters to keep her warm.
“I am just thankful to every person who has put their time and effort into making Rhea’s life better – the letters, messages, sweaters, and toys I receive give me hope that there are great people everywhere,” Eisenmann added.
Sadly, after two years since Rhea’s adoption, she passed away from her condition.
However, her followers still get updates from Eisenmann, who regularly posts old photos of Rhea.