A lovebird named Rhea became famous after losing all of her feathers to a rare illness last year. Now, fans from all over the world are sending Rhea teeny-tiny handmade sweaters to keep her warm.
Rhea was once a normal, healthy lovebird. But when her feathers began to fall off, she was diagnosed with Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease.
PBFD attacks the feather follicles, causing the feathers to fall off. Rhea’s feathers will never grow back.
The disease is eventually lethal, and shortens a bird’s lifespan significantly. Birds with PBFD get cold very easily, and are at a very high risk for contracting other illnesses.
Rhea’s mom, Isabella Eisenmann adopted her after she lost her feathers and her original owner no longer wanted her.
Since then, Isabella has posted countless pictures and videos of Rhea and created social media accounts under the name “Rhea the Naked Birdie,” all to spread awareness about diseases, appearances, acceptance, adoption and disabilities.
Isabella says her goal is “to reach out to those who feel that they don’t belong, for them to know that different is beautiful.”
Rhea’s story is one that resonates with everyone– or at the very least, her nearly 275,000 followers.
As Rhea became more and more popular on social media, her fans wanted to help.
Isabella has to keep her house above 75-degrees at all times, put Rhea in socks, and surround her with space heaters to keep the sweet birdie from getting too cold (and therefore, too sick).
That’s when the sweaters began to arrive– teeny, tiny, handmade birdie sweaters.
Fans from all over the world have since sent Rhea hundreds of sweaters to keep her warm. In turn, Rhea models her stylish gifts on Facebook and Instagram.
What Rhea lacks in feathers, she makes up for in style– lots of it.