About 20 ostriches descended on 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 140 miles southeast of Calgary, was on her break when she spotted an RCMP vehicle driving next to an ostrich.
She recorded a video, which she posted on social media. In the video, a man can be seen leaning out the window of an RCMP cruiser and trying to grab the bird.
“At first I thought I saw things… I hear sirens and I look around and I see an ostrich and there’s no way this is happening now,” she said.
“It was a sight to behold, that’s for sure.”
The bird in the video was one of about 20 ostriches, Cpl. Troy Savinkoff. The birds had escaped from their enclosure and officers helped the owner recapture his flock.
There were multiple reports of ostriches on the road in the area of Highway 36 and Township Road 94, coming in around 8 a.m., Savinkoff said.
“The trending photo shown shows an RCMP officer driving with the actual owner of the ostrich on the passenger side and attempting to capture the ostriches using the technique seen,” he said.
“Several of the ostriches have been successfully captured, and only a few are currently trying to support the owner and continue to capture the rest.”
Unfortunately, he said, an ostrich was hit by a car and died.
RCMP in Taber responds “quite often” to reports of stray cattle and horses, Savinkoff said.
“Ostrich is certainly something we are much less familiar with, and I can confirm that one particular researcher who received their first report did not expect to hunt ostriches during that shift.”
“When you are an RCMP officer, you are 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 varieties for those officers today.”