Escaped ostriches spotted in southern Alberta town, prompting Mountie to respond

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About 20 ostriches descended on the streets of Taber, Alta., on Thursday, prompting local Mounties to help catch the birds.

Destiny Nanaquewetung, who works at a convenience store in the small town about 230 kilometers southeast of Calgary, was on her break when she saw an RCMP vehicle drive up 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 trying 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 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 about 20 ostriches, said RCMP media relations chief Cpl. Troy Savinkoff. The birds had escaped their enclosure and officers helped the owner recapture his flock.

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

“The image shown that has been trending shows 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 are just a few more on the loose at the moment as they try to support the owner and continue to capture the rest of them.”

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

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

“Ostriches are certainly something we are much less familiar with, and I can confirm that the special investigator who received their initial report did not anticipate hunting ostriches during that 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 are not, and this would certainly be one of the non-typical variations for these officers in day.”

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