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Calif. man rescued after chasing pet parrot off cliff

Orange County firefighters decided the best way to rescue the man off the steep cliff was a helicopter “pick operation”

By Daniella Segura
The Charlotte Observer

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A man stumbled off a cliff while chasing after his pet parrot, California officials say.

The man was trying to get his bird when he “fell over the side of a steep cliff” in O’Neill Regional Park on Sunday, March 17, Orange County Fire Authority said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Fortunately, he landed where he did and didn’t continue down, because the crews that were on scene reported that it was about a 40-foot drop after that,” Capt. Thanh Nguyen told McClatchy News in a phone interview.

Fire officials arrived after bystanders called 911, Nguyen said.

The first fire crew to arrive decided “the quickest and safest way” to rescue the man would be “a pick operation, where a firefighter rescuer is lowered from the helicopter,” Nguyen said.

The man was placed in a harness and airlifted from the area, all while clutching his parrot that he tucked under his shirt, Nguyen said.

Paramedics checked the man for injuries, but he was fine, according to Nguyen.

Nguyen said he’s unsure of how the bird got away initially.

O’Neill Regional Park is in Trabuco Canyon, about a 55-mile drive southeast from Los Angeles.

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