The urban legend of the so-called “Gold Creek Rooster” has been circulating the streets of northern Canberra for months.
It is the story of a rebellious rooster who, in the face of almost certain death, escaped and began his life anew.
According to the story, the Canberra Reptile Zoo was about to feed the rooster to a giant python in 2017, but the animal escaped from the enclosure and took refuge in a driveway. -in nearby McDonald’s, where he continues to live today.
But the most interesting twist of the story is that the popular myth is almost true.
It all started with a Facebook post
In 2017, Canberra Reptile Zoo CEO Peter Child created a Facebook post asking for unwanted roosters from people, so they can be fed the resident Burmese Python.
“Roosters! We need your unwanted roosters. Our Burmese python has a taste for chickens and roosters… sorry, I know it’s sad to think they are eaten, but I promise we NEVER use a live animal! Said the post.
Mr Child said they were “absolutely crushed by the offers”.
The zoo canceled the request, but, four years later, Mr Child said animals were still regularly left at the entrance to the business.
“We’ll show up every now and then and find a cardboard box at the front door with a rooster inside,” he said.
Mr Child said that, contrary to myth, there was no way the rooster actually escaped the zoo enclosure and the jaws of a Burmese python.
“We euthanized them immediately and then they’re frozen, so it’s pretty hard for one of our roosters to escape,” he said.
“Other than our show animals, we don’t keep any animals here alive.”
Regardless of how the animal escaped, the Gold Creek Rooster seemed to enjoy his new neighborhood, choosing to live at the nearby McDonald’s drive-in, rather than the KFC a few yards away.
The animal is often seen strutting across the concrete, scavenging the remains left behind by diners and chuckling loudly.
Zoo warns of falling animals at the entrance
Despite the rooster’s fresh start, Mr Child urged the Canberrans to stop leaving their cattle outside the zoo, which is located next to the busy Barton Freeway.
“If the rooster walked on the highway it could cause an accident,” he said.
He said the Gold Creek Rooster still faced the same danger – or much worse.
“It’s pretty serious despite the fun nature of it,” Mr. Child said.
Mr Child reiterated that the zoo had euthanized any animals that needed to be fed to the facility’s scaly residents.
“A lot of people think that because we have reptiles we have to give them something alive, but we certainly don’t and don’t agree with that,” he said.
But he said that for any rooster that escaped its fate, a fresh start could be imminent – just as the Gold Creek Rooster discovered.