Jerusalemites were treated to an unexpected surprise early Sunday evening as a runaway ostrich roamed the streets of the Gilo neighborhood.
The ostrich managed to stroll through the neighborhood for hours before being apprehended by the Veterinary Service.
The site of the unexpected animal casually sauntering through the streets led to a bevy social media posts, including many taking selfies with the ostrich.
According to the Veterinary Service, the owner of the animal had illegally purchased the female ostrich as a chick from the marketplace at Kfar Kassem, an Israeli-Arab city that lies 12 miles east of Tel Aviv. He has been raising her in his home ever since.
Initial reports suggested the ostrich had escaped from Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo. However, zoo authorities told Channel 2 that “they were not missing an ostrich.”
Dr. Asaf Brill, head of the Veterinary Service for the Jerusalem Municipality, told Ynet, “I’ve been on the job 11 years, and never encountered anything like this.”
“We experience fleeing animals like parrots and iguanas, but these are animals people usually raise,” he explained. “The ostrich is a wild, dangerous, and endangered bird. It can reach the weight of many hundreds of pounds — a kick from it can kill a man.”
After being captured, the Jerusalem municipality stated that “out of deep concern for the well-being of the ostrich,” the animal was transferred to the Biblical Zoo.