HomeOutdoorsViralDozens of Ostriches Escape Their Enclosure, Lead Police on Wild Chase

Dozens of Ostriches Escape Their Enclosure, Lead Police on Wild Chase

by Craig Garrett
Male Maasai Ostrich Running on Plains - stock photo

On Thursday, approximately 20 ostriches ran away from their enclosure in Alberta, Canada while police were trying to catch them. A bystander filmed a police car driving after an ostrich running down the street. A passenger in the vehicle reaches out and tries to grab the ostrich by its neck but fails. The bird falls to the ground momentarily before continuing to walk away, with the car still in pursuit. Footage of the incident was shared by ABC News on Instagram.

While on a break from work, Destiny Nanaquewetung saw an RCMP vehicle driving next to an ostrich. A video was recorded by her and posted onto social media. It showed an ostrich’s owner leaning out the window of an RCMP cruiser while trying to grab the bird. Ostriches should be grabbed by their necks to prevent them from pecking, as recommended by animal websites.

The Taber Police helped the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confine the birds so their owners could reclaim them safely. “I thought I was seeing things at first … I hear sirens and I look over and I see an ostrich. [I thought] there’s no way that this is happening right now,” Nanaquewetung told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “It was a sight to see, that’s for sure.” 

At least one ostrich has been hot by a car and killed

Of the 20 ostriches that got out, the bird in question was one of them, said Cpl. Troy Savinkoff, an RCMP media relations officer. Currently, officers are helping the owner wrangle his loose birds back into their enclosure. Around 8 a.m., Savinkoff received multiple reports of the large birds on the road in the area.

“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,” Savinkoff explained. 

“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, one ostrich was hit by a car and killed, he said.

Savinkoff said that “quite often,” the RCMP in Taber receive reports from people of loose horses and cattle. However, giant birds running wild are a bit more rare. “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.” 

Ostriches can run up to 37 miles per hour. Experts say that when these birds feel threatened, they will use running as their main form of defense mechanism.