'The easiest catch I've ever had': Fake parrot spotted in N.J. woods triggers real rescue effort

"This was probably the easiest catch I've ever had," said the animal control officer who was called to the scene.

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Saturday, March 12, 2022
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An animal control officer was called out to rescue a parrot in Princeton, New Jersey.

PRINCETON, New Jersey -- An animal control officer was called out to rescue a parrot in Princeton, New Jersey.

But what appeared to be someone's feathered friend turned out to be a fake.

It all started when a concerned citizen named Tim Lynch spotted what appeared to be a parrot in a wooded area on Wednesday.

He was alarmed thinking someone's exotic bird must have flown out a window.

He snapped a photo and sent it to his nephew, a sergeant, in the Princeton Police Department.

Concerned, especially because of the poor weather, the sergeant urgently dispatched Animal Control Officer Jim Ferry to rescue the parrot.

He met up with Lynch at the scene and the intense rescue effort got underway.

"The two of us were walking back there not wanting to scare away it so it flies away, and as we get closer I'm thinking 'oh my gosh, this poor thing is dead,'" Lynch said. "We're about two feet away, he's about to throw the net over it, and he goes 'it's fake.'"

"We have a saying in Animal Control that a sick or injured animal is very easy to catch, and this was probably the easiest catch I've ever had," Ferry said.

Princeton police posted a photo of Officer Ferry cradling the ceramic bird after the rescue.

He brought it back Princeton police department in a cage.

It's now perched inside the police station until its owner is located.