Bizarre Owl Incident Prompts Arizona Police Warning Against Drug Use

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Andyworks

Arizona Police recently released one of the most bizarre and sarcastic cautionary tales about the dangers of buying an owl while high on drugs. According to a Facebook post from the Payson Police Department, the department encouraged its residents not to use drugs, citing an outlandish story from one of their most recent cases.

“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 dollars, in the middle of the night, from strangers, at a local gas station,” they penned on Nov. 9th.

While the post was extremely odd, it was based on an actual event.

Per reports from police, early on Wednesday, police conducted a traffic stop and discovered something, for lack of a better word, wild. Once they approached the vehicle, officers found a juvenile owl sitting next to the driver.

According to the report, the driver had done exactly what the Facebook post described. Police later learned the man had just purchased the owl from strangers at a gas station, who said they found the animal “along the roadway,” according to police.

Officers arrested the driver on several counts, including aggravated DUI, methamphetamine possession, and possession/transport/purchase of wildlife.

According to news reports, police said, “The driver was arrested on numerous charges including Aggravated DUI, Possession of Methamphetamine, and the Possession/Transport/Purchase of wildlife.”

Arizona man busted for buying owl while high on drugs

They added: “The owl appeared to have minor injuries and was unable to be released. Arizona Game and Fish will be picking up the owl later today.”

After they posted about the baffling bird blunder, many flocked to the comments to give their two cents. One person wrote, “This couldn’t be more well written!! Glad the owl has been evaluated by Delphia Strickland and is in a place of healing.”

Someone else added: “Oh my word!!! This is why we cannot have nice things!!!”

Many people also thanked the police department for saving the animal. One person wrote, “Way to go Payson PD for saving that poor owl. Now it has a chance to heal and live. Keep up the good work! Also, thank you for getting some meth off the street.”

“Wildlife should remain wild,” the department also wrote. “It is illegal to possess, transport, buy, or sell wildlife unless expressly permitted by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS 17-309).”

“We support this message. Keep wildlife wild,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service commented on the post.

The owl had minor injuries, preventing its release to the wild, police said. Instead, Arizona Game and Fish received the bird, and it’s now in their care.

The town of Payson is about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona.