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Cats, otters and cockatiels, oh my! ​Austin Fire Department responds to 'smoke-alarm' bird and more animal antics​

Sunny the cockatiel served as a stand-in smoke alarm when part of his owner's South Austin house caught on fire. (AFD/Facebook)

From a smoke-alarm sounding cockatiel to a backstroking otter, the Austin Fire Department has been busy protecting its furriest residents in the past few months.


Here are three heartwarming and heroic animal rescues from AFD's Tuesday Facebook post:

Curiosity got the cat

Molty the cat was rescued from a tree Friday by an Austin firefighter. (AFD/Facebook)

In a rite of passage each firefighter must eventually be brave enough to pull off, AFD rescued an indoor cat named Molty Friday after the kitty's curiosity got her stuck in a neighbor's tree. After she climbed the tree, she quickly "realized her exclusive life indoors had ill-prepared her for such a feat" and spent the next four hours on a "precarious perch." Probationary Firefighter Harley Preston did the dirty work in bringing the scaredy-cat back down.

A backstroking otter

AFD firefighters watch as a backstroking otter perches on their ladder at a retention pond. (AFD/Facebook)

Earlier this month, AFD ran—or swam—into another furry friend as a crew was called to respond to a perilous situation—an otter doing a backstroke in a retention pond at the J.J. Pickle Research Center in North Austin. The crew promptly sent out a ladder to the otter, which it rested on for a few minutes before swimming away. Texas Parks and Wildlife, which has reported an increase in river otter populations across Texas, eventually secured the otter and moved him to a more appropriate location.

Sunny the "smoke alarm" cockatiel

Sunny the cockatiel saved the day on a south Austin call earlier this month. (AFD/Facebook)

An unexpected hero named Sunny saved the day on a south Austin call earlier this month. After a smoke alarm failed to sound in the early hours of the morning, the cockatiel alerted his owner of smoke from a fire caused by a malfunction on the heating unit. After putting out the fire with dishtowels, the owner called 9-1-1 and was thanked for his heroics by AFD officers.

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