Philippe the golden pheasant is back home in Lantzville after being caught at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove mall today, May 7, after escaping a week and a half earlier. Photo submitted

Escaped pheasant caught at Vancouver Island mall after a week-long chase

‘He just wanted a little adventure,’ say bird’s Lantzville owners

A golden pheasant has been reunited with its owners after a week-long chase ended this morning at a Nanaimo mall.

The bird, Philippe, is back home in Lantzville after it flew away and went missing April 28. For more than a week, Lantzville neighbours had been keeping an eye out for the pheasant, but could never quite catch it.

The golden pheasant belongs to Beth and Ryan Neilson, and lives amongst their chickens and chicks.

“Philippe would hang out with the chickens and we didn’t realize he could fly, but he can,” said Beth.

After the pheasant escaped, the Neilsons spread the word via two different Facebook groups and several neighbours tried to help.

“He was spotted at least five times,” Beth said. “The first time he was in someone’s backyard; twice he was hanging out with different chickens; he was spotted by the side of the road a couple of times, as well.”

On one occasion, the Neilsons were called to a neighbour’s chicken coop, where Philippe literally escaped through Beth’s fingertips.

This morning, May 7, the pheasant was spied outside Woodgrove Centre’s Avalon Landmark Cinemas.

“Someone spotted the bird and they just thought it was really nice to look at and we knew it was a really exotic bird,” said Dot Shaw, merchandise processing coordinator at Winners.

One of the store’s drivers caught the pheasant in his coat, and another Winners employee had access to a birdcage. A Facebook post quickly reunited Philippe with his owners.

“It made our day, actually,” Shaw said. “We thought it was neat. You have to do these things, right?”

story continues below

The Neilsons just moved to Vancouver Island last September and said even before the events of the past week and a half, they had been amazed by the kindness and generosity of their neighbours. This is just another example of their community’s “small-town feel,” Beth said, and the couple is very grateful.

She and Ryan will find a way to add netting to Philippe’s enclosure so he can continue to enjoy Island life uncaged.

“He’s happy, the chickens are happy and my husband’s really happy. So everything’s good,” Beth said. “I think he just wanted a little adventure and I can’t really blame him for that.”

READ ALSO: Swan saved after getting tangled in net and nearly drowning



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Town of Ladysmith adopts 1.92 percent tax increase for 2020

Mayor Aaron Stone said the increase balances lost revenue while maintaining town services

Ladysmith principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Most Read