Thursday, November 12, 2009
Big Bird Returns
Many of you already know that my in-laws have an ostrich that escaped from his pen this past Sunday. Following his escape, there was an 'all points bulletin' (ha ha) out for this bird. Really, everyone has been talking about it...all three local news stations have covered the story, and The Sanders Clan can hardly go anywhere without being asked about Big Bird. Even Gabe was being bombarded at school with questions from his fellow classmates about Big Bird's disappearance. You'd think this Bird were human! But really, to many, he's like a member of the family. Sounds corny, yes, but this ostrich is so well known in the community by the flocks of people, young and old alike, who come out to visit the Sanders Pumpkin Farm each fall. He's kind of the farm's mascot, and to have him missing was sad for everyone.
Well, wipe those tears away because Big Bird has returned! Knowing that everyone would want details, Bonnie (my mother-in-law) asked me to write a press release for area news organizations. I also took a few photos of Big Bird safe at home. I thought I would share them on the blog, so in case you miss the news (which is pretty much impossible if you live around here) then you can read of Big Bird's happy return home...
Search For Runaway Ostrich Comes To An End
VINTON - The ostrich that has become a mascot of sorts to the Sanders Pumpkin Farm is home once again as the missing bird’s three day adventure ended Wednesday with Big Bird’s safe return.
The wayward ostrich’s owners Dwight and Bonnie Sanders, of 2449 63rd Street, Vinton, first reported the bird missing this past Sunday.
Dwight was driving a tractor when he spotted the bird running in the field. He thought, “There goes an ostrich.” After the shock of seeing an ostrich running through the field and the amazement of how fast the bird was running wore off, Dwight said that the realization came that this is in fact his ostrich.
A few other Big Bird sightings were reported over the next few days, but none yielded his capture. Finally Wednesday, the bird was spotted in a neighbor’s field less than a mile from home, where a gated fence was able to keep him confined until the capture could be made.
Although the owners were unsure of how they would manage to catch the ostrich, Dwight, with the help of his son, Jason, and farmhand David Kalina, were able to successfully round up Big Bird.
Dwight explained the round up. “I called to Big Bird and after a brief hesitation she ran towards me. I was able to hold on to her neck, but she got nervous. We had read some information on rounding up an ostrich that suggested putting a sack over the ostrich's head to calm her down, and that seemed to help.”
It took all three men to get her into the trailer, but once there she sat down and stayed there, with her owner by her side, until they arrived home. The hood was then removed and Big Bird got up and walked out of the trailer.
“The other animals seemed happy to see her,” Dwight said.
Both Dwight and Bonnie are thankful to have their ostrich home.
“I’m so glad she wasn’t hurt,” Bonnie said. “After her brief encounter with freedom, I think she’s glad to be home.”
Bonnie added, “I want to thank everyone for all their concern and willingness to help.”
As to how the ostrich got loose in the first place, the Sanders said it appears that Big Bird must have been pushing against the gate and broken the latch.
With Big Bird home and the latch repaired and reinforced, the hope is that the resident mascot will remain safe and sound with her other barnyard friends on 63rd Street.