Fowl play at the cop shop

By Sharon Lundy

Visitors to Dunedin's central police station yesterday morning might have had an "ooo la la" moment had they known what lurked beneath the counter.

Nestled in a box - and biting any hand offering food or water - was a rooster confiscated from a drunk French man celebrating France's 27-22 rugby victory over the All Blacks.

"There was a French rugby supporter in the city last night wandering around the Octagon with a rooster," Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said.

"He was getting a bit wobbly on it and we were getting a bit concerned about the rooster, so we took it off him and said he could pick it up this afternoon."

The rooster was one of their less demanding overnight guests - he wasn't noisy, didn't need to be fingerprinted or photographed and there were "no special dietary requirements or accommodation required"

However, his behaviour left a little to be desired.

"Apparently one or two police did try to feed it and give it water but they were attacked, so we just kept it in a box after that," Mr Benn said.

"He was quite happy with that, and so were we. It was an unsociable sort of a beast."

Jill Hill, customer services officer "in charge of all roosters", was less than thrilled to find the special guest when she arrived at work.

Mrs Hill isn't fussed on fowl and was worried the bird would die on her watch.

"I could hear it moving a little bit and I thought 'that's good, it's still alive'," she said.

"But I said to the senior (sergeant) 'well if nobody comes to pick it up we'll have to ring the SPCA. I can't stand it'."

Her wish was granted mid-morning, when a man walked in and announced "I come to pick up my rrrooster".

"He got his rooster and away he went and he was very happy," Mrs Hill said.

"I just ever so pleased to see it go."

It was Mrs Hill's first rooster duty in 15 years' with the Dunedin police. And, she hopes, the last.


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