Arizona Pest Control Technician Saves Drowning Hawk From a Pool

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Without a doubt, the world’s pest control workers are already our heroes just by doing their job. Pest control is the last number anyone wants to have to call, but it’s nice to have someone to get the job done. One of those special individuals in Arizona went above and beyond, capturing the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.

Steven Gonzales works for Truly Nolen Pest Control in Phoenix. He was at a job in Scottsdale when he “went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Gonzales happened to spot a hawk that was drowning in a nearby pool. He quickly sprung into action to save the day. His trainee, Francisco Zapata, happened to catch the heroic moment on camera. Gonzales proceeds to pull the bird out of the pool and then sets it on a nearby ledge.

It seems like the bird was still in shock or had developed a liking for its savior. The video ends with the hawk once again on the man’s hand.

“I heard some splashing coming from a nearby pool, and to my surprise, I saw a hawk in distress gripping what appeared to be the pool’s drain. I have rescued an owl before, but never a bird this size! The hawk let me grab it by the legs, so I lifted it towards my shoulders and it flapped its wings and then rested there, much to my surprise,” Gonzales shared with People.

Clearly, the hawk and Gonzales had a mutual fascination. Gonzales ended up naming the hawk Lucena after his daughter. The bird ended up hanging on his arm long after the video ended. Eventually, the bird stayed on the ground as it continued to dry off. Its wings had become very heavy from the water.

The relationship doesn’t end there, either. Gonzales wanted to make sure the bird had a proper home after the near-death incident. He contacted a local bird rescue called Wild at Heart that came to pick up Lucena.

It gets even better. Now, Gonzales is planning on volunteering at this non-profit organization to help this hawk rehabilitate and eventually fly free in the wild once again. A normal day working in pest control turned into a pretty eye-opening opportunity.

“Even though I remained calm, I am still surprised the hawk just chilled there with me and did not want to leave my side. I’ve always been fascinated with birds of prey, and I’m happy to have been able to assist one that doubles as nature’s pest control,” he also said.

According to The Mercury News, the SPCA Monterey County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center has rescued 45 red-tailed hawks that could not survive on their own. It’s amongst several organizations that go out of their way to help rescue and nurture animals to good health.