Phoenix-area pest control technician rescues drowning bird from swimming pool at customer’s home
PHOENIX – It may seem like a crazy story, but an Arizona pest control technician went above and beyond to help save an animal in need. Now he is hailed as a “hawk hero”.
For Steven Gonzales, it was a typical day at work until he noticed a falcon wading through a swimming pool.
“I see this hawk, and it’s grabbing onto something in a pool, like a drain or something,” said Gonzales, who works with Truly Nolen. “It’s just, like, stand up, so I was, like, OK, what am I going to do?”
At the time, Gonzales was completing a client’s routine pest control service. He quickly dropped everything and sprang into action to save the falcon, and it was all caught on camera by an intern.
“He lets me grab him by the legs, and I end up lifting him over my shoulder, and he flaps his wings a bit and just sits there,” Gonzales said.
The falcon seemed very grateful, as Gonzales said he was very calm. It even stayed perched on his arm for quite a while, until he put it on the ground to dry it off.
Gonzales said the falcon’s wings were heavy from being soaked.
“It just chilled me out,” Gonzales said. “He didn’t want to leave me. He just stayed right next to me.”
Gonzales called out a Cave Creek nonprofit called “Wild At Heart,” a group that saves birds. Group members care for the falcon until it is strong enough to be released into the wild. Gonzales said he gets daily updates and hopes to be there when it comes out. He even pledged to volunteer with the organization and help with future rescues.
“I’ve always been fascinated by birds of prey and stuff and animals, and I love volunteering and doing things and helping not only people and pest control, but animals as well,” Gonzales said. .
The organization also allows Gonzales to name the bird.
“I named her Lucena, after my daughter,” Gonzales said.
For Gonzales, this wasn’t his first animal rescue, as he said he once saved an owl.
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