Beds, Herts & Bucks

Police horses find escaped Milton Keynes budgie

Police officer with horse and budgie Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption PC Tracey Paul with horse Odin, and Sparky the budgie

An escaped budgie in a flap was rescued after being spotted by two mounted police officers on night patrol.

The officers were in Fishermead, Milton Keynes, when their horses Odin and Aurora saw Sparky flapping in a hedge.

The officers tweeted they were "catching not just criminals" and appealed for the owner to get in touch.

Dozens of people shared the post and after spending 24 hours in a "custody" stable, Sparky was safely returned home.

Its owner said Sparky and about 10 other birds escaped from her aviary when a latch was accidentally left undone.

"She must have been out there for about 24 hours in the cold, having made it about three miles from home," said Nikki Cross, who has about 60 birds.

PCs Tracey Paul and Patrick Frost came across Sparky on Thursday evening and tweeted that "the budgie was found by Police Horses Odin and Aurora whilst on patrol last night".

By Friday, Mrs Cross had seen the appeals on social media and recognised her bird.

"I was very surprised when I saw the photo of the officer holding Sparky, as she bites like mad, and really isn't a very friendly budgie.

"I was told the horses had found her and she was going to be looked after until I could prove she was mine and collect her."

Instead of spending the night in police cells, Sparky was caged in the safe custody of the stables at the Milton Keynes station, where officers fashioned a perch for her by balancing a riding crop inside her box.

Image copyright Nikki Cross
Image caption Mrs Cross had about 60 birds in the part-heated aviary in her garden

Mrs Cross said she was delighted to have Sparky back, and while she did not hold out much hope for all the other birds being found safely, another has been returned after being found a few miles away in a tree.

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