A man in Oregon was recently allowed to take a mugshot with his pet macaw. Unsurprisingly, the “jailbird” and his owner are quickly becoming internet celebrities.
Though it might look like he was under arrest for piracy, Craig Buckner was actually at the courthouse as part of an ongoing drug and theft case. He thought the visit would be short and simple, so he left his well-trained, 4-year-old macaw, whose name is Bird, outside in a nearby tree.
After Buckner failed a drug test, though, authorities arrested him on-site. Knowing the arrest would make his visit to the station longer, Buckner was worried about leaving his bird out in the cold and rainy weather. Sgt. Bob Ray, the sheriff’s spokesman, said Bucker was “very distraught.”
Washington County Court Security Deputy Shoana McKelvey tried to retrieve Bird, and after he refused to come to her, McKelvey took Buckner outside and the parrot immediately flew down to his shoulder.
"She was very concerned for the safety of the bird and also for Mr. Buckner's mental well being," Sgt. Ray told the Oregonian.
Once inside, the officers gave Bird some peanuts and staged a mugshot with the charismatic bird still on Buckner’s shoulder. (They also took a version without the bird for official use.) After the photo shoot, McKelvey contacted a friend of Buckner’s who will take care of Bird while his owner completes his sentence.
“Our Sheriff’s Office has very strong core values of doing the right thing. I also have very strong moral values of treating all people with compassion no matter what role I am taking,” said Deputy McKelvey in a press release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
“Mr Buckner was already in a stressful position and did not need the additional stress and worry of his loved pet, Bird! Bringing the two together brought me joy and brought relief to Mr. Buckner and safety to his bird.”