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Pilot Breaks Rules To Save Animals From Fort McMurray Fire

Animals  (tags: wildfires, animal rescue, Fort McMurray, Suncor Airlines, compassion, pet owners, rescue operation )

- 1129 days ago -
For pilot Keith Mann, loading dozens of animals onto his plane in order to evacuate them from the historic Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada was the right thing to do, even if it was against the rules. Nearly 90,000 people were forced to flee wildfires


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Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 6:54 pm
The energy company Suncor, which has an airport located northwest of Fort McMurray, offered its planes to fly evacuees south of the blaze. On Tuesday, around 300 citizens showed up at the airport — with nearly 100 animals in tow.
“The terminal was quite a sight,” Mann said. “Just full of animals.”

Mann, Suncor’s manager of flight operations, said that he quickly realized the dilemma.
“I didn’t want our personnel to be faced with the decision of whether to separate these people from their pets,” Mann told HuffPost. “So I made the executive decision.”

The pets were coming too.

Mann said that they had to bend the rules in order to do what was right, adding that he and most Suncor employees are pet owners. Airlines often set a limit on the number of animals that they can have on board, and what parts of the plane pets occupy.

Mann and flight crews had to be creative in order to transport approximately 10,000 people and 100 animals that needed help. Over the course of about 50 hours, Mann and other pilots gave rides to cats, rabbits, hedgehogs, a chinchilla, frogs and dogs — including a Great Dane who took a whole seat to himself.
“There were even unconfirmed reports that a pig was on one of the flights,” Mann said.
Even with as many as 36 animals of all kinds loaded along with people onto a plane, Mann said that for the most part, the flights were “tranquil.”

Beryl L (78)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 7:07 pm
what a soft and big heart the pilot has. for taking hold of the situation and saving all the animals he could. Great story BMutiny thank you

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 7:11 pm
'Course, all the WILD animals caught in the Wildfires, there was no hope for them.....

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 7:13 pm
A flight attendant said that passengers were consulting YouTube for tutorials on how to make a muzzle out of a shirt, Mann said.
Mann, who owns a 4-month-old golden retriever, was proud of how they responded. “We did everything we can to keep pets with their owners, and ensure that the flights were safe.”

“That’s the Canadian way,” Mann said. “We wanted to help.”

Suncor is one of several companies that stepped in to help people and pets fleeing the wildfire. Canadian North has been running evacuation flights that have plenty of furry passengers along with human ones, as HuffPost Canada reports.

Even though the worst of the wildfire is over, Fort McMurray residents are unable to return home due to the risk of hot spots flaring up. On Tuesday the fire had grown to 229,000 hectares, but more favorable weather was helping firefighting efforts.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 7:38 pm
Great find BM!

Great story, Great pilot Keith Mann, Great pet photos, and one very happy Flight Attendant holding a cute hedgehog!

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 7:40 pm
I agree with your comments on this BMutiny. Climate Change, Global Warming---all of the critical environmental issues that are now peaking and may just take-out the whole "shebang"---should be earnestly addressed and regarded as an "Emergency"!!!

The pilot mentioned, was a good soul who saw the wisdom in disregarding very harmful manmade rules during a crisis. That is in the soul of every protester, rebel and revolutionary. When the world is falling apart before your very eyes, and those in power to prevent, help or stop the process do nothing--or worse, add to the cataclysmic destruction---then each soul has the God-given free will and human right to protect the planet and all life on it. Look to your pure inner awareness for truth and guidance.

This planet and all living are in an emergency situation. Will you all be like this pilot and unite to be Earth's savior, or not protest and quietly fade into oblivion? Thanks BMutiny for your always provocative and perfectly presented posts, laced with your passionate observance.

. (0)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 8:09 pm
TYFS BM . It's amazing what's happening there. When seemed to be controlled, the fire has again out of hand. Terrible for many animals that have died in horrific circumstances, and many animals that have lost their habitat.

Animae C (509)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 8:27 pm
Who even thinks of stoopid rules when lives are in danger!!!
Well done!

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday May 21, 2016, 9:56 pm
I agree with Janice Thanks BM

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 12:37 am
Screw the rules, especially when they endanger lifeforms.

Evelyn B (63)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 1:39 am
Crises call for flexibility in rules - and the pilot understood this. Any sticking rigidly to the rules in such circumstances are robotic.

Think of the consequences of NOT accepting these companions -
=> Avoidable deaths of creatures who trust their humans
=> Increasing the agony of those already facing total disruption of their homes & lives

Had there been a lack of space on the planes for the "human" population, the choice might have been more open to question - but this wasn't the case.

Is there an animal-related medal? The pilot deserves public recognition of his humanity towards evacuees and their companions (and it would help, should the company decide he broke their precious rules!)

Thanks Barbara

Doris F (19)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 2:52 am
great !!, thank you BMutiny

Angela K (371)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 5:16 am
This is one of the best stories which I have heard in last time .... very touching for me :-)
Thanks for sharing BMutiny

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 5:21 am
The best way to live a wonderful life

Freya H (345)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 6:13 am
If saving innocent lives is against the rules, *@#!% the rules. (No, "pro-lifers," this does not apply to you - your crusade has nothing to do with saving lives, only controlling them.)

Frans B (582)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 8:25 am
This is what LIFE should be about! Amazing story....thanks BM

Lisa M (15)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 8:41 am
What an absolutely magnificent, warm, wonderful man! I love him!

Alan Lambert (91)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 9:02 am
Save the Animals, save the World

Winn Adams (179)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 9:38 am
There are angels among us and they are helping animals and children. Prayers for all those affected.

pam w (139)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 9:48 am
Thanks for a REALLY HUGE GRIN, Mutiny!

Rhonda B (99)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 10:09 am
Thank you for sharing Mutiny!

Connie O (45)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 4:25 pm
Wonderful! It would be heartbreaking to have to leave your pets behind. They are family!

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 6:16 pm
Rules are made to be broken. This was one of those times it was absolutely critical it was done so. Good job.

Gustavo Henriqu Castro Leal (101)
Sunday May 22, 2016, 7:31 pm
This was a decision of a man who knows that the rules are there to be obeyed, interpreted, and when a case of necessity, broken, that was what he, boldly and in an act of conscience and humanity increasingly rare these days, chose to disobey a list of letters written on a possible manual and save the lives of dozens of animals. This man is an example of that solidarity should not exist only among peers but among all living beings that inhabit the planet. A hero in its purest essence.

Leslene Dunn (84)
Monday May 23, 2016, 12:40 am
A hero of note - what an absolutely amazing, precious man to have done this - may he be blessed for eternity!

Sylvie A (190)
Monday May 23, 2016, 3:25 am
Noted & shared.
Thank you

Past Member (0)
Monday May 23, 2016, 9:09 am
Love this story! Animals are always an afterthought in disasters so this story really is unique since we never hear of people in any positions bending the rules to help animals. A true human with compassion+heart 4 all of earths creatures. thx BM

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday May 24, 2016, 8:47 am
There is and should be only ONE RULE in such situations: humanity. And that was most certainly applied here!
Leaves a bit room for some hope, at least, thanks!
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