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Elusive Hill District Rooster Finally Captured

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A trouble-making rooster will no longer plague the people living in a Hill District neighborhood.

Wiley Avenue's loudmouthed and elusive bird was captured Sunday by a rooster rescuer, who traveled from St. Louis for the job, after homeowner Henry Gaston tried and failed repeatedly to capture the animal.

"It just struck us as something that would be fun to donate our time to, come up there, rescue this rooster and give him a good home," explained rescuer Frank Cantone.

It wasn't easy.

Cantone tried to capture the rooster on Saturday, but the stubborn bird managed to get about 75 feet up into a tree. He decided it would be best to wait for morning to try again.

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Sunday morning, Cantone and his small daughters, ages 10 and 12, returned to try and find the rooster. The team brought a hen for one simple reason:

"Roosters are like men, if they see a pretty woman or a pretty hen, they will chase her," Cantone said.

They became somewhat worried when they couldn't see or hear him.

"We're looking, no one has seen him or heard him today, so we're trying to find him," Cantone said. "It's very cold, we need to catch him and get him inside."

Finally, the rooster was spotted. Cantone and his daughters managed to trap the bird into a corner and scoop him up.

"He put his wings up and said, 'I surrender,'" Cantone said, mentioning that he was surprised how formidable the rooster was.

"This rooster was one of our first cases where it took this long," Cantone said. "This one was able to fly, he flew very well, he flew about 25-75 feet and about 100 feet off the ground. Chickens and roosters usually can't fly that high or that distance."

Frank gives a lot of credit to his young helpers.

"My daughters were able to assist me. My oldest daughter, Lindsey, was chasing after him, and Felicity, my youngest daughter, kept an eye on him," he said.

Wiley Avenue's notorious rooster will go back to St. Louis to live on a sanctuary farm.

The rooster has been a major nuisance for people within earshot of the plot of land he has determined is his home. Gaston was told by District Judge Oscar Petite that he was going to be fined if he didn't capture the bird.

Gaston insisted that despite numerous honest attempts, he was unable to get the rooster off his property, much to his neighbors' anger.

"It doesn't know when to 'coo coo.' Most roosters 'coo coo' in the morning for five or 10 minutes. He's all day and maybe through the night if he feels like it. You can't get any peace; I want the rooster gone," said Sharon Hughes.

"Animal Rescue League tried to catch him, they couldn't catch him, they had a truck and he flew over top and he took off," recalled neighbor Bill Bailey.

The capture came just in time, as weather in the area has officially taken a turn for the cold.

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