Police in Arizona warn against buying owls from strangers while on drugs

Nov 11, 2022, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm
(Facebook Photo/Payson Police Department)...
(Facebook Photo/Payson Police Department)
(Facebook Photo/Payson Police Department)

PHOENIX – Police in Arizona made one of strangest public service announcements in law enforcement history this week.

“The Payson Police Department would … 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,” the Payson Police Department said in a Facebook post Wednesday.

Wait, what?!?!

While oddly specific, the warning isn’t as random as it might seem. And it actually came too late for one man.

Officers conducting a traffic stop early Wednesday found a young owl next to the driver. The man apparently had done exactly what the above PSA says not to do when offered a wild bird.

Police ended up booking the driver on multiple counts, including aggravated DUI, possession of methamphetamine and possession/transport/purchase of wildlife.

The owl had minor injuries and was being turned over to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

While the announcement was good for a laugh, it had a serious point.

“The Payson Police Department would like to remind the public that wildlife should remain wild,” the post said. “It is illegal to possess, transport, buy, or sell wildlife unless expressly permitted by Arizona Revised Statutes.”

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Police in Arizona warn against buying owls from strangers while on drugs