A Blacktip Island rooster collided with a passing motor scooter Thursday, causing an accident that closed the island’s road for nearly an hour. “There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. (photo courtesy of jaybergesen)
A collision between a feral chicken and a motor scooter Thursday afternoon near the Blacktip Island airfield closed one of the island’s two roads for more than an hour, creating the small Caribbean island’s first traffic delay, island officials said.
“Fatty Bottoms was northbound on his scooter, delivering a meal to the Seagroves up on the north end,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Just past the store, a large rooster darted across the road and collided with Fatty, resulting in a wrecked scooter and food going everywhere.
“I had to block the road while Marissa from the medical clinic made sure Fatty was OK,” Marquette said. “Folks were upset about having to go the long way around the island to get home, but Fatty’s health came first. He got away with just some minor scrapes. The rooster lost some feathers, but otherwise seemed fine.”
Bottoms said the rooster appeared out of nowhere.
“All I know is I was cruising along, making sure the mango pie didn’t dump sideways in the bag, when WHAM! I took a chicken upside my head and down I went,” he said. “By the time I finished spitting out feathers, the rooster was gone, and there was pie and rice-and-beans and grilled mahi all over the road.”
Residents say the accident is part of a growing poultry problem on the island.
“These chickens are getting to be a constant hazard,” Helen Maples said. “The Environment Health Department culled numerous of feral cats six months ago, and there’s been an explosion in the chicken population since then.
“They’re getting brazen, as if they own the island,” Maples said. “Until now it’s been stealing food, defecating on porches and pecking up cars. But now one of those large roosters actually attacked someone. Something needs to be done about this.”
Others were more alarmed by the trend.
“That one red rooster by the air strip’s been out on the road there a lot lately, staring folks down, daring them to try to get past him,” Linford Blenny said. “That’s a red flag. The chickens’re up to something. With no tourists on island there’s less food waste around. They’re getting hungry. And desperate. Need to ship in some more feral cats, is what I think.”
The island’s constable called for calm.
“There is zero evidence this incident was purposeful on the part of the rooster,” Marquette said. “And the island’s chickens are not plotting any organized uprising.
“We are, however, urging island residents to exercise caution in dealing with chickens in the near future. Don’t leave food out, be aware of your surroundings and, if you must drive with your windows down, please wear a motorcycle helmet. There’s still no indication why the chicken crossed the road at that time.”