One of two ostriches that ran loose in Quezon City dies of stress

One of two ostriches that ran loose in Quezon City early this week died of stress, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Usec. Benny Antiporda said Saturday, citing the statement made by the birds' owner.

One of the two ostriches that ran loose in QC was already turned over to DENR. The other one reportedly died due to stress. (Photo courtesy of DENR/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Despite this development, Antiporda said DENR would still launch an investigation on the matter.

"Pero di po agad agad maniniwala ang DENR, unless makita natin yung bangkay noong ostrich (DENR will not entirely believe the news unless we see the dead ostrich)," he said.

The DENR official disclosed that the other ostrich has already been turned over to the department's Wildlife Rescue Center Friday afternoon.

Antiporda said in a video message that they would invite the birds' owner, Jonathan Cruz, for a technical conference and investigation because DENR is still clueless why the ostriches were  running loose inside Mapayapa Village on Tuesday when the birds’ owner resides in Barangay Balingasa which is about 13 kilometers away.

He added DENR is also wondering why the ostriches were in Quezon City if they should be in Nueva Ecija, based on their permit to transport.

"But since there's a show of good faith through surrendering the remaining ostrich, we would be giving them opportunity to explain... so they could say what they want to tell. Rest assured that the welfare of the bird will be given value," Antiporda said in mixed English and Filipino.

He said appropriate charges will be filed against the owner if they find negligence on his part. 

On Tuesday, the two ostriches caught the attention of social media users after they were seen in several videos running loose around 9 a.m.

One of them was seen chasing a car and tried to go out of the village but was refused exit by the security guard, who said in jest that it had no gate pass. The ostriches were eventually turned over to their owner when they were caught two hours after they slipped away.

The word "Jumanji" trended on Twitter following the incident, referring to an American fantasy comedy adventure film where animals came alive through a board game.