Chopper rescues man, cockatoo from pine tree

/ Source: The Associated Press

It took a Coast Guard helicopter to rescue a man and his pet cockatoo from the heights of a pine tree after he got stuck trying retrieve the $2,000 bird.

William Hart, 35, had climbed about 60 feet up the tree to get the bird after it escaped from its cage and flew out a bedroom window. Television video showed him standing on a branch Tuesday evening awaiting rescue, the exotic white bird apparently tucked under his shirt.

The bird, Geronimo, got out after Hart’s daughter apparently forgot to latch his cage after feeding him, Hart told the Houston Chronicle. He said he spotted Geronimo in flight and chased him, then climbed the tree until the cockatoo flew to his arm.

That’s when Hart realized they were stuck. He said he yelled to his sister, who was helping him chase the bird, to call 911.

Firefighters had trouble backing a truck up to the tree because of the rain-saturated ground, so the Coast Guard helicopter was called in. The crew used a harness to get both man and bird down.

Hart had a few scratches and a bite on his finger from the frightened bird nipping him, but he said he was glad it all worked out. The shaking bird tucked its beak under his collar as he held it.

“He’s my baby,” Hart said. “I’d do it again.”