By Leslie Radford: Quay County Sun
There has been a theft at the Floeck Country Ostrich, Emu and Rhea Ranch northeast of Tucumcari. Lesa Floeck, owner, said a rhea hen was stolen from her property around 4 a.m. Friday morning.
“I think that’s when it happened, because my dogs started barking around then,” Floeck said.
That morning, Floeck was checking her birds as usual and found piles of feathers from the bird and footprints left by the perpetrator, who apparently threw the bird over a tall paneled fence after knocking the animal out with what Deputy Sheriff Bill Anderson thinks was a 2×4.
“(The theives) probably put up a good fight with the bird,” he said. “They’re pretty strong and have a large claw for defense.”
In his report, Anderson said there were two distinct sets of foot prints found on the property, not belonging to anyone who works there.
He was also able to lift a set of fingerprints as well.
“I hope I was able to get something,” he said.
Anderson explained the moisture in the air may make it hard to match prints at the lab in Santa Fe.
The report goes on to say that the bird was apparently “dragged to the back fence where it was lifted over. The bird was then dragged along a canal on the property to Quay Road AL where it was loaded into a vehicle.” Tracks lead the officer to believe the vehcle headed south on that road.
“I think it was kids,” Anderson said. “Probably on a dare or something.”
He also speculates the crime was committed by locals.
“This is low,” Floeck said, “low as you can get.”
Floeck notified the sheriff’s office, the state police, the livestock inspector, area vetinarians and the local radio station to put the word out about her missing bird.
The bird is worth approximately $1,000 and hopes to be retured safely.
Floeck is offering a reward for the arrest and conviction of those involved. If anyone has information about Friday morning’s burglary at the Floeck Ranch, contact the Quay County Sheriff’s Office at 461-2720, or the Floeck’s at 461-1657.