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Tony, described as “pretty vicious looking”, appeared in Jeremy McTear’s backyard in Heathcote last week.
“He was rather large and confident, and very quickly made himself at home, digging up the lawn and hiding in the bushes,” McTear said.
“He was all feather, talons and large beak with a bright red comb.”
Over the next few days, McTear and his sons, Oliver, Jamie and Leon, attempted to catch Tony.
But he was quite the escape artist, managing to evade their clutches and fly over a fence to terrorise their neighbour.
“He was incredibly quick and able to escape through gaps that seemed impossibly small,” said McTear.
“An hour or two later, he’d appear at the door or window and taunt us or the dog. Sometimes he’d just sit in the neighbour’s gutter and glare.”
When he saw Tony, Ziggy would chicken out from his guard duties.
A post on the community Facebook page failed to trace Tony’s owner. The McTear backyard had become his new home.
Each morning last week, Tony woke up the family and neighbours at 5.20am.
Finally, Tony was captured last Thursday, after McTear, his wife Tina and three sons, armed themselves with blankets, fishing nets, bread and a cat carry cage.
“It was a team effort,” McTear said.
Tony was dispatched to the SPCA, where he is being put up for adoption.
“Staff said he was quite grumpy on arrival,” said McTear.
He said his sons asked for KFC on the way home.
“We didn’t have a problem with that,” he said.
“On Friday we all had a great sleep in.”