Early Thursday morning while conducting a traffic stop on a suspected impaired driver, a Parson, AZ, police officer found a young owl next to the driver inside the car. Digging into the situation, the officer soon learned how the bird came to be in the car with the motorist.
The police department reports the officer learned the driver purchased the owl at a local gas station from a motorist who had found it along the roadway.
“The Payson Police Department would also like to take this opportunity to encourage the public not to use methamphetamine or you too may find yourself illegally purchasing a wild owl, for $100, in the middle of the night, from strangers, at a local gas station,” the department posted on social media.
The driver was arrested on numerous charges including aggravated DUI, possession of methamphetamine, and the possession/transport/purchase of wildlife.
Police point out that wildlife should remain wild and in Arizona it is illegal to possess, transport, buy, or sell wildlife unless expressly permitted by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 17-309).
The owl appeared to have minor injuries and was unable to be released. Police turned the owl over to Arizona Game and Fish.