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Deaf Man Reveals His Surreal and Incredible Relationship with Birds

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The world is full of incredible mysteries. All around us, we catch glimpses of magnificent birds that soar, microscopic insects that build tiny cities, and monumental sea creatures that nearly defy imagination.

Likewise, we encounter human beings with an astonishing array of gifts and talents. Some have the ability to heal, some are able to teach complex concepts, and others build sophisticated tools and machines that perform remarkable feats.

If you’re familiar with Biblical scripture, maybe you recall the words of Genesis 1:26. It notes that humankind was made in God’s image, to rule over “the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

But even reading that passage, it’s still pretty enthralling to witness the close kinship certain humans share with members of the animal kingdom. Just consider the extraordinary story of a gentleman who works at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.

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His name is Razali Bin Mohamad Habidin, and social media has unofficially dubbed him the “bird whisperer.” It’s a nod to the well-known 1998 Robert Redford movie “The Horse Whisperer,” which recounts a trainer’s uncanny knack for taming unruly thoroughbreds and stallions.

When Habidin was just a baby, he became very ill. Although he eventually recovered, he was left with a permanent hearing loss of roughly 80 percent.

Then, about twenty years ago, Habidin took a job at the Jurong reserve. Over time, he ascended the ranks to his current position as deputy head avian keeper.

That’s probably a direct reflection of his miraculous way with birds. Staff members say that Habidin has developed a closer bond with these creatures than any other caretaker.

Jurong bills itself as Asia’s largest bird park. It’s a spacious haven for more than 5,000 birds representing 400 species — 15 percent of which are endangered.

Habidin, for his part, communicates with his numerous feathered friends using a strategic sequence of gestures, verbal grunts, and body postures. As he explained to news organization Agence France Presse, he recognizes each creature by its unique behavior and personality.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that understanding the birds is easier for Habidin than comprehending the people on his team. The latter requires an earnest combination of skilled lip-reading and complex finger patterns.

But the birds simply follow Habidin willingly, without a bit of coaxing or complaint. They eat directly from his hand and rub their beaks against his outstretched finger — a playful sign of affectionate trust.

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Assistant curator Angelin Lim is in awe of these unexplained skills, yet extremely grateful. “Just by a look, he knows whether or not the bird is well,” she told AFP, adding that “he has a way of communicating with the birds that very few of us can.”

Habidin and his devoted flock are living proof that there’s more to this world than meets the eye. We may be unable to explain his surreal bond with these majestic creatures, but it’s humbling to behold.

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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