About 20 ostriches descended upon the streets of Taber, Alta., on Thursday, prompting local Mounties to help capture the birds.
Destiny Nanaquewetung, who works at a convenience store in the small town about 230 kilometres southeast of Calgary, was on a break when she saw an RCMP vehicle driving next to an ostrich.
She recorded a video, which she posted on social media. In the video, a man, who is the ostrich’s owner, can be seen leaning out the window of an RCMP cruiser and attempting to grab the bird.
“I thought I was seeing things at first … I hear sirens and I look over and I see an ostrich and there’s no way that this is happening right now,” she said.
“It was a sight to see, that’s for sure.”
The bird in the video was one of approximately 20 ostriches, said RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Troy Savinkoff. The birds had escaped 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 came in around 8 a.m., Savinkoff said.
“The picture shown that’s been trending depicts an RCMP officer driving with the actual owner of the ostrich in the passenger side, attempting to capture the ostriches using the technique seen,” he said.
“Several of the ostriches have been successfully captured, and there’s just a couple more loose currently that they’re attempting to support the owner and continue to capture the rest of them.”
Unfortunately, he said, one ostrich was hit by a car and died.
RCMP in Taber respond to reports of loose cattle and horses “quite often,” Savinkoff said.
“Ostrich certainly is something that we’re very much less familiar with, and I can confirm that particular investigator who received their first report did not anticipate chasing ostriches during that shift.”
“When you’re an RCMP officer, you’re called for a wide variety of different services to the public. So some are typical and others are not, and certainly this would be one of the non-typical variety for those officers today.”