Cove Fire Department rescues baby macaw
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The firefighters of the Copperas Cove Fire Department are first responders who are ready, 24 hours a day, to help citizens in emergencies.
Firefighters might be known for the cliché of rescuing cats from trees, but on Sunday they received a slightly different call to help rescue a three-month-old macaw named Bonnet.
Bonnet, owned by Mitchell and Ashley Boteler, flew out the front door of the family’s house on Sunday.
“We hadn’t clipped her wings,” Mitchell said. “When our son opened the door, she flew out.”
The family was first shocked and then concerned after Bonnet, the only bird owned by the Botelers, flew into the neighbor’s backyard. At first, the family scrambled to get a ladder and a water hose to wet her down, because if she was wet, she couldn’t fly.
“Then she caught sight of other birds, caught the wind, and she was gone.”
Bonnet had only just gotten off formula last week, and with her feathers still growing in, Sunday’s venture was the macaw’s first flight.
This is the Boteler family’s first exotic pet bird, and macaws like Bonnet can live as long as 60-70 years. The family has two dogs, one of which is a chocolate lab and has made friends with Bonnet, who likes to perch on the dog and ride it around, said Mitchell.
“He likes to clean her, and she likes to ride around on his back. That’s what we were afraid of, that she’d go right up to a dog because our dogs get along with her. If she tried to mingle with another dog, they’d just eat her. She’s just a baby and can’t defend herself.”
When they called the Copperas Cove Fire Department for help, the initial response was, ‘Aren’t birds supposed to be in trees?’”
But then after the Botelers explained the predicament, the department dispatched Lt. Brandi Wolfe and Firefighters Cody Durett and Steven Patterson with the ladder truck.
After about 10 minutes, Bonnet was safely back with her family.
“It really shows how much the Copperas Cove Fire Department helps the community. We had no way to get her out of the tree,” said Mitchell. “They really help people with all kinds of things, and it meant a lot that they helped with something like this.”
The Botelers said they have clipped Bonnet’s wings so an incident like Sunday’s won’t happen again.