MALAYSIA - When a video of an ostrich running along Federal Highway, a major highway in Kuala Lumpur was posted on Facebook on 16 June, it was (naturally) destined to go viral.
The video was posted on Instagram by Jeff Sandhu, a producer at local radio station BFM, and has already garnered more than 57,000 views since, and was picked up by local news outlets.
In an interview with Malay Mail Online, Sandhu said: “It started out on the slow lane then it went to the emergency lane. Then on the emergency lane it overtook a car and ran across to the fast lane. It was just switching lanes here and there.”
In a follow-up report by The Star, Darren Chow, the owner of the ostrich, named Chickaboo, said she had escaped from the open window of his Toyota Hilux during the journey to Ostrich Wonderlands, a farm located in Semenyih.
"It was an embarrassing incident,” he said. "She normally sits quietly in the Hilux. She has never attempted to jump out before. But this time, she jumped out of the window and ran."
Chickaboo was eventually rescued by passersby, who guided her to the highway divider to prevent her from running into oncoming traffic before being transported home.
Chow said that Chickaboo was getting too big to care for at his home, and needed more space. So arrangements were made to donate her back to the farm.
The owner of Ostrich Wonderlands, Casey Teh, assured The Star that Chickaboo would not be slaughtered for meat.
"My farm is open to the public. Families and students can come to visit to learn about ostriches and other birds," he added.
Of course the incident, which made many a Malaysian’s day, was too much of a temptation for some enterprising brands, with whips immediately cracked on creative teams to come up with suitable responses before the day was out.
Telco provider DiGi’s response wins points for humour and the seasonal tie-in with the Holy month of Ramadan:
But Huawei Mobile Malaysia gets the trophy from us for not only the deftly executed direct product tie-in but also, as one Facebook user noted: “added alliterative appeal!”
Service provider marketplace ServisHero also did their part in trying to rescue the feathered runaway:
Kudos and an honourable mention must also go to Kilkenny Malaysia, with its offer of a free pint to both Sandhu, for sparking the phenomenon, and enthusiastic drinkers who send the brand a message with their details.