FAIRFAX, Va. - A Fairfax County police officer is being commended for an unusual rescue on Sunday afternoon. Calls started coming in around 4:30 pm about a big white bird that was hanging out in a tree near the Fairfax County Government Center, and people who saw him thought he was someone's pet-- but the owner wasn't anywhere in sight.
Officer Mike Thompson was brave enough to investigate, even if it meant getting bit a few times.
On Sunday night, Fairfax County police tweeted about the bird, who by that time had been reunited with his owner. "This little cockatoo got a tour of our police car when she found herself lost away from home. Officers safely reunited her with her owners," they wrote, alongside a picture of the cockatoo, whose name is Sunny (or Sol). The bird, it turns out, is a boy.
This little cockatoo got a tour of our police car when she found herself lost away from home. Officers safely reunited her with her owners. pic.twitter.com/OATX9mw2dw— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) April 23, 2017
That tweet got a lot of reaction, so on Monday, Fairfax County police staged a reunion on Facebook Live. In the video, Sunny and his owner, Edgar, were reunited with Officer Thompson, who talked about saving the bird. Sunny's owner thanked him for what he did, adding that he knows it can be scary to approach a bird who doesn't know you.
Sunny's owner said he was playing soccer near the place where Sunny as found, and he had forgotten he left him out. Sunny's wings are clipped so he can't fly away-- the result of another time he went missing.
About five hours later, when he went to feed Sunny, he realized-- and immediately panicked. Edgar said in the video that he called the animal shelter, which was closed, and then called another emergency number. He was told that Sunny had not been found-- but later, he found out about Officer Thompson's rescue, and the two were reunited safely.
Officer Thompson said Sunny was sitting in a tree about 12 feet high, but seemed calm. He whistled at the bird, and then called him to come-- and Sunny did. After getting bit a few times, Officer Thompson was able to pick the bird up and get him inside his cruiser, where he hung out until a crate arrived.
Sunny's owner says he was adopted 10 years ago, when he was 10 years old. In fact, he just turned 17 four days ago. He considered the bird his baby, and says they talk to each other and he teaches Sunny commands and tricks all the time. Mostly, he just walks around the house like a dog or a cat.