Lithia Park Roosters Vanish
By Michael Bryant, Staff Writer
Ducks, deer, and turkeys are typical sightings at Lithia park, but on January 3rd two roosters, one red and one white, were apparently abandoned at Ender’s shelter. “They seemed pretty scared, disorientated, and confused,” said Precious Yamaguchi, who runs a Twitter handle which features the various animal sightings at Lithia and is a frequent parkgoer.
“I walked toward them and they hid in the bush,” said Yamaguchi. However, the roosters both appeared healthy despite their apprehensive nature, according to Yamaguchi.
Pets or farm animals being abandoned at the park is not a common occurrence, in fact it’s odd enough that parks workers weren’t sure how to handle it, “I started getting calls from a bunch of people… and I’m thinking I don’t know how I’m suppose to deal with roosters,” said park superintendent Bruce Dickens.
A week later, on January 9th, Yamaguchi visited the park and spotted only one rooster, the white one, who may have met a difficult end, “I didn’t think that they would survive that long in the park by themselves, because of the different predators and the elements,” said Yamaguchi.
Dickens, says sightings of major predators are not common, since they tend to work in stealth but it happens. Over the years the park has posted numerous warning signs about bear and cougars being seen by people. The day after a cougar was reported on a park trail, the roosters were no longer spotted, “When I came in Monday–no more roosters,” says Dickens who did not speculate as to whether or not they met a specific demise.
As to concerns that dumping unwanted animals, such as roosters, could be on the uptick, Dickens admits they have had some issues with ducks being abandoned at Lithia Park, but no other species such as chickens. In a park which fines people who bring dogs in on leashes, animals not native are definitely not wanted.
The City of Ashland does allow for chickens within city limits but not roosters.