Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Man Dies Trying Rescue Pet Cockatoo

Man Dies During Cockatoo Rescue
Mario XuerebNovember 13, 2007 - 9:06AM

A Bendigo man trying to retrieve a neighbour's pet cockatoo from a tree plunged to his death in front of his wife yesterday.

The man, 58, died after climbing 12 metres up a gum tree to save the bird last night, before losing his grip and falling. Police said he died instantly. The man's death came after the bird's owner fell from the same tree in an earlier failed attempt to capture the bird, which had escaped from its cage.

The owner, a 72-year-old man from Epsom, north-east of Bendigo, was taken to hospital with suspected spinal injuries. Sergeant Mark Holloway from Bendigo Police said the owner's bird, a sulfur-crested cockatoo, became stuck in a 20-metre tree in a vacant lot near railway lines about 10pm last night. The owner climbed a ladder to catch the bird but slipped and fell to the ground. He was taken to Bendigo Hospital. Sergeant Holloway said the dead man, the pet owner's neighbour, then tried to catch the cockatoo about 10.30pm. "[He] became quite upset that his neighbour was injured trying to save his pet bird, so he made the same attempt up the ladder," he said. "He climbed the ladder up into the tree and while his wife was under the tree watching and calling for him to get down, climbed out on a limb around 12 metres off the ground.
"He lost his grip and fell to the ground in front of his wife and died instantly." Sergeant Holloway said the man may have died due to head injuries received during the fall. Family have rallied around the dead man's wife as police prepare a report for the coroner. The cockatoo has not been caught.

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