Escaped ostriches spotted in southern Alberta town prompting police response

About 20 ostriches took to the streets of Taber, Alta., on Thursday, prompting local law enforcement to help capture the birds.

Destiny Nanaquewetung, who works at a convenience store in the small town about 230 kilometers southeast of Calgary, was on a break when she saw an RCMP vehicle driving past an ostrich.

She recorded a video that she posted on social media. In the video, a man can be seen leaning out of the window of an RCMP patrol vehicle and trying to grab the bird.

“I thought I was seeing things at first…I hear sirens and I look and I see an ostrich and there’s no way that’s happening right now,” she said.

“It was a sight to behold, for sure.”

The bird in the video was one of about 20 ostriches, said RCMP Media Relations Officer Cpl. Troy Savinkov. The birds had escaped from their enclosure and officers were helping the owner recapture his flock.

There were multiple reports of ostriches on the road in the area of ​​Highway 36 and Township Road 94, which arrived around 8 a.m., Savinkoff said.

“The photo shown which is trending shows an RCMP officer driving with the real owner of the ostrich on the passenger side, trying to capture the ostriches using the technique seen,” he said.

“Several ostriches have been successfully captured, and there are only a few more currently trying to support the owner and continuing to capture the rest.”

Unfortunately, he said, an ostrich was hit by a car and died.

Taber RCMP respond “quite often” to reports of loose cattle and horses, Savinkoff said.

“The ostrich is certainly something that we know a lot less about, and I can confirm that this particular investigator who received his first report had no plans to hunt ostriches during this shift.”

“When you’re an RCMP officer, you’re called upon for a wide variety of different services to the public. So some are typical and some aren’t, and that would certainly be one of the atypical types for those officers today. ”


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