MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Collierville family is overjoyed after the community helped reunite a teen with his lost pet.
Alexander Reives, 15, didn’t want a standard cat or dog as a pet -- he wanted a hawk.
“My first reaction was, 'What, a hawk? Okay,'" said Bretha Reives, Alexander's mother.
She says her son, who's a Boy Scout, has always loved the outdoors and any animal he comes across.
"When we want to ground him, we tell him he can’t go outside," she said. "It’s like a death sentence for him."
Figuring the field of falconry could also lead to a future in ecology or environmental science, Alexander’s parents agreed to get him a hawk.
Under one exception, Apollo doesn’t live where their other pets do.
“I said, 'No, that’s where I draw the line, it can’t stay inside,'" Reives said.
They got Apollo in December from Osceola and Alexander’s been thriving in the sport of falconry ever since.
“It consists of taking care of the birds and also hunting with them," Alexander said.
He says he loves teaching other kids about hawks and being outside with her.
Apollo’s never tried to escape, but the strong winds swept her away last Monday.
“I looked around and she wasn’t anywhere close," Alexander said.
The family searched the neighborhood, raising eyebrows as they called out for their lost hawk.
"Not a cat or a dog - a hawk," said Derrick Reives, Alexander's father.
They also put her picture on Nextdoor and other neighborhood websites. The community quickly stepped up to help look for her.
“He was so sad," said Bretha of her son. "I would’ve done anything to make him happy again."
About a week later, the sheriff called saying a family found her nine miles away.
Alexander’s parents surprised him by asking him to clean her cage and filmed it as he saw she was inside.
“Every time I watch the video, I cry," said Derrick Reives.
The sweet reunion shows the pure passion Alexander has for his unique hobby and the kindness in the community when someone’s in need.
“I’m just so thankful," Alexander said.
Although he doesn’t think Apollo is going away anytime soon since he's her source of food, they put a GPS tracker on her leg just in case.
In response to the support they’ve gotten, Alexander and his parents are inviting the community to the Memphis Church this Sunday (March 4th) to learn more about falconry and meet Apollo.
It’ll be at 10 a.m. at 7400 Cordova Drive E in Cordova.
You can also check out Alexander's YouTube page here to learn more about Apollo.