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Parrot perches on soccer player's head, raises awareness of Brazilian forest fires

Jason Owens
·2-min read

An unexpected visitor invaded a soccer pitch on Saturday, interrupting a Brazilian National Women’s Team scrimmage.

A parrot landed on the head of Bruna Benites, forcing the sides to take a break while the bird did its thing. The parrot — a macaw to be precise — alternated between Benites’ head and shoulders before being lured away by the offer of a soccer ball.

It hopped off her head onto the ball and squawked before flying away for its next adventure.

Benites uses moment to raise fire awareness

Benites did not seem to mind.

The 34-year-old defender posted multiple times on her Instagram page about the visitor and used the moment of levity to raise awareness for the fires devastating the nearby Pantanal wetlands and Amazon rain forest, destroying regional wildlife and their habitats.

“Taking advantage of what happened today, I, as Mato Grosso, could not help expressing my feeling of deep sadness for everything that has been happening in the Pantanal,” Benites wrote, per Google Translate. “Thousands of animals are losing their lives with the fires, and if this continues to happen, scenes (rare) like the one you are seeing in this video, will become impossible to be seen.

“Let us be aware! Let's take care of our greatest asset, which is nature!”

Parrot is a regular visitor

Benites clarified in a separate post that Saturday’s visitor wasn’t a wild parrot, but a local pet that flies free and regularly visits soccer practice.

“He is a macaw that lives here ... and is a domesticated animal,” Benites wrote. “... He is a free animal and is just why he visits us frequently during training. Normally he is watching everything near the goal.

“It usually stays on the cross or in the net behind the goal, but yesterday he resolved to see things from another angle.”

A macaw flies down as it looks to land on an antenna for food, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Caracas' signature bird, the blue-and-yellow macaw, is one of four such species that inhabit the valley. Legend has it that it was introduced in the 1970s by Italian immigrant Vittorio Poggi, who says he nurtured a lost macaw and trained it to fly with his motorcycle as he cruised around his neighborhood. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
A macaw like the one seen here chose a Brazilian soccer player as its perch on Saturday. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

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