COLUMBIA — The Peace Park rooster has been captured.
The rooster, who had been living in the park since May, was caught Sunday morning and transferred to a hobby chicken farm outside city limits. Fans of the bantam rooster had worried about how the critter would survive the snow and ice of winter in Columbia.
Summer Allen, a retired psychologist who had been feeding the rooster daily, helped organize the rescue mission. She said it took six adults and three children — armed with a net and two blankets — more than an hour to capture him. Eventually, Gordon Christensen, whose wife is a friend of Allen's, caught the rooster with his hands.
"I think he was exhausted. He was very quiet," Christensen said. "But he'd been running all over Peace Park. It was kind of ludicrous."
Karla Rumpf and her children helped catch the rooster Sunday and said it was a "merry chase."
Rumpf said she was worried that the rooster would succumb to either bad weather or other rogue animals in the park.
"He didn't have anyone," Rumpf said. "There really wasn't anyone who could take care of him all the time."
Christina and Rod Dablemont, who are friends of Rumpf, agreed to take in the rooster last week. They have a "hobby" chicken farm just south of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park with a flock of 12 hens and two roosters.
Rod Dablemont said it's obvious Bob Dylan, as they've come to call the chicken, wants to be a part of the flock. When Bob Dylan sees the other chickens, "he'll stand a little taller, he'll lift his head a little high and he gets very vocal and animated."
Bob Dylan has his own enclosed coop right now, complete with a 100-watt heat lamp, straw for padding and a personal supply of chicken feed. Dablemont plans to integrate Bob Dylan into his flock by slowly introducing him to the other chickens, one or two at a time.
So far, so good. Dablemont said he's let his other chickens wander around Bob Dylan's coop, and they seem to accept him. One rooster did give him a sort of "competitive look," bowing his head and ruffling his feathers a bit. Still, Dablemont anticipates Bob Dylan will fit in well with the flock.
Allen said she'll miss seeing the Peace Park rooster on her morning runs, but she's happy he's gone to a warmer place.
"I think he liked being independent, but he was going to freeze to death."