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Chickens terrorize downtown (not really)

By KBell
July 9, 2012 at 2:09 a.m.

Three chickens hang about the DeLeon Plaza gazebo in downtown Victoria on Monday. The birds have proven elusive to animal control, who want to capture the birds and find them a home.

In a brazen move that challenged being the long-held namesake for cowardice, three chickens moved into the center of town Friday - on National Fried Chicken Day.

If they knew their counterparts were being battered, deep fried and devoured all across the country, the downtown chicks showed little dismay. They pecked around DeLeon Plaza throughout the busy lunch hour and, apparently, they're putting up a fight for their new coop.

After receiving calls about the chickens, the county's animal control tried to round up the trio Monday morning.

"He wasn't able to restrain them at all," Joe Lopez, chief animal control officer said.

Animal control also responded to a call about the chicks on Friday, but they were nowhere to be found.

After some Monday afternoon rain, the elusive exiles proved sneaky again. Shawn Buske, 31, was at DeLeon Plaza but hadn't seen a trace of them.

"I saw somebody with a barbecue grill over there, though," he joked.

Buske was talking with Ruben Gutierrez, who said the new fowl fiasco reminded him of the guineas that used to run around Old Victoria. A few years ago, several people in the city launched a campaign to "save the guineas" from being removed.

Kyle Loescher, 18, also remembered the hype around the guineas.

Though his girlfriend, Sydney Seekamp, had just eaten some fried chicken a few days earlier, the couple was more poultry sympathetic after hearing about the hometown chickens on Monday. Over turkey and club sandwiches at Subway, they said they hoped the birds stick around downtown.

"I say, let the chickens be," Kyle said.

Gutierrez agreed.

"To me, it would be no different than the pigeons."

Lopez said animal control will probably need to work with the city to trap the chickens. He would then work to try to find the trio a home in the country.

"I'm not sure what we're going to do, but we'll work with somebody to get rid of the chickens," Doug Cochran, Victoria's parks and recreation director, said.

Not that anyone is crying fowl - the chickens aren't bothering the downtown crowds, everyone agreed.

"I'd rather have them than the chupacabra," Buske said.



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