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It’s not every day you see someone driving with a bird in the vehicle

Westborough Police Officer William Ethier was doing radar enforcement on Upton Road when he was approached by this Good Samaritan who'd saved an injured owl from the roadway.
Westborough Police Officer William Ethier was doing radar enforcement on Upton Road when he was approached by this Good Samaritan who'd saved an injured owl from the roadway.Westborough Police Department

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


On the evening of Jan. 3, Officer William Ethier was parked and conducting radar on Upton Road in Westborough when he was approached by a motorist who had an owl in his truck. The man driving the truck, Cliff Kistner, said Ethier seemed surprised to see that he was accompanied by a feathered passenger. “He was like, ‘Is that real?’” Kistner said in a recent telephone interview. Kistner informed Ethier that yes, the owl was real, and it had just been hit by a vehicle.


Kistner said that when he saw the owl was injured, he jumped out of his truck, took his jacket off, wrapped it around the bird, and brought it into his truck. Then he started driving, hoping to find someone to help the poor bird. But driving with an owl on board proved to be a challenge.

Kistner said at one point the owl jumped up on his dashboard and spread its wings, impeding his view through the windshield. Luckily, he came upon Ethier’s cruiser and pulled over. The owl jumped on his hand and sat there.

Kistner told Ethier that he needed help with getting his newfound feathered friend to a veterinarian. Ethier contacted Animal Control Officer Melinda MacKendrick, and together they escorted the Good Samaritan and injured owl to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton. The Westborough Police Department shared photos of the owl on the department’s Facebook page. “I love this story!!” one commenter wrote. “Thanks for giving a hoot.”


The next day, police helped rescue another owl in Arlington. On Jan. 4, Animal Control Officer Diane Welch and Officer Brandon Wenz were dispatched to 36 Chatham St. for a report of an injured Eastern screech owl. Police tweeted that the owl was given fluids and medication, put on a heating pad for the night, and would be going to Tufts Wildlife Clinic the following day.



At 5:18 p.m. Dec. 31, someone came into the Stow police station to provide information about a parrot from Acton that had been missing since October. The tipster told police that there had been sightings of the bird near the town line in November.


At 9:11 p.m. Nov. 12, Milford police responded to a noise complaint at the Holiday Inn Express on Fortune Boulevard. The front desk had requested officers because they thought they heard someone screaming. But according to the log entry, it was actually a “female singing loudly.”


At 1:12 p.m. Jan. 1, Wilmington police responded to a report of a disturbance at Planet Fitness on Middlesex Avenue. According to the log entry, the manager told police that a member of the gym was refusing to follow the mask policy and was refusing to leave. When police showed up, the member had already left and canceled membership.


On Dec. 2, the Wareham Department of Natural Resources posted a video on Facebook of skunks getting freed from a trap. “Folks, don’t try this at home ... This is a common occurrence, leave handling wildlife issues to the professionals!” the Facebook post said.


“On Tuesday morning Wareham Department of Natural Resources responded to a residential house where the property’s residents were attempting to trap what they believed to be a nuisance wildlife. In doing so they ended up with a pair of skunks which was not the intended wildlife.” Unsure of what to do, the residents called for help and officers responded and freed the two trapped skunks without incident.

“The illegal trap was removed from the property and the owner was given a verbal warning for trapping wild animals without a permit,” the post said. “Trapping and moving of any wildlife is illegal and must be done by a professionally licensed person.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.