Regina cop uses falconing experience in owl rescue

Const. Jon Cooper is no stranger to birds of prey.

Const. Jon Cooper is no stranger to birds of prey

Cst. Jon Cooper swaddles a Great Horned Owl after rescuing the owl. (Regina Police Service)

When Regina police found an owl trapped in a soccer net in a field near Evraz Place, they knew just the officer to call.

Const. Jon Cooper was exactly the person for the job. On top of being a police officer, Cooper is an apprentice falconer.

Cooper said that when he and his partner arrived on the scene, the giant bird of prey was badly tangled up in a soccer net.

Cst. Jon Cooper was called as back up to called him for back-up to Evaraz place parking lot. When he arrived, he heard an unusual noise. 4:40

Cooper says he was nervous to approach the owl because owls have a grip strength of 500 PSI per talon.

"That is equal to a German Shepherd bite,"  he said.

It wasn't just the talons he was worried about.

"Owls will do an eerie ticking noise, followed by a hissing noise and their eyes kind of peer into your soul," Cooped said. 

It took Cooper and his partner about 10 minutes to free the bird.

Once it was released they noticed the bird was unable to fly. Cooper caught the owl, swaddled it in a blanket and decided to take it home with him.

Cooper called his wife and she got everything set up in the house for their new roommate. He said his kids were excited to meet the injured bird and set her up in a safe space.

Later that day Cooper connected with Megan Lawrence at the Salthaven Wildlife and Education centre in Regina to arrange handing over the bird. 

Lawrence said the bird is a full grown female great horned owl and is "very feisty." She said there is some swelling in the owl's joints from trying to free herself from the soccer net. The bird will see a veterinarian for treatment.

Lawrence expects the owl to be released back into the wild once the swelling goes down and it is able to fly again.

As for Cooper, he said being a police officer is about helping anyone in need, even those with feathers.


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