Residents at one San Pedro apartment building say their beloved neighborhood chicken has miraculously returned after being birdnapped six months ago.
The wild chicken, affectionately known as "Kwok Kwok," came to the apartment complex in the 1100 block of 9th Street about a year ago. Building owner Jackie Anastasiow says the bird appeared shortly after her husband passed away.
"I think he's in Heaven and sent me this chicken to take care of," Anastasiow said.
"Well I didn't know what to call him, and I says, 'C'mon, chicken. C'mon, c'mon, c'mere, baby.' And he goes, 'kwok, kwok, kwok, kwok,' and I said, 'OK that's your name. Kwok Kwok Kwok is your name,'" Anastasiow said.
Anastasiow says the neighbors help pitch in for "Kwok Kwok." Residents feed the bird and even stop traffic to let the chicken cross the road and get to the other side.
"Everybody on the street just loves him," Anastasiow said. "Everybody that comes up and down the street, stops and looks at him and takes pictures of him, and tries to talk to him."
Anastasiow says one house even has a sign that reads, "Caution: area patrolled by attack chicken."
This summer though, tragedy struck the neighborhood.
"I heard a commotion downstairs. The chicken's making noise ... I see a pickup truck with three guys in it, and they kidnap the chicken. They put the chicken in the truck and they drove off," said resident Sal Martinez.
Residents were sure "Kwok Kwok" was destined for a finger-licking-good demise.
"It was really strange. I don't know why they took the chicken away. I figured 'Kwok' was done. I thought they were going to make either chicken soup or chicken stew or something. They were going to eat the chicken," said Martinez.
Then, three months ago, the neighborhood got a poultry miracle.
"Kwok Kwok" returned home.
Residents are unsure whether the bird managed to escape or if someone staged a rescue mission.
"We were all blown away. How did she come back? How did she get away from these people? What's the story behind it?" Martinez said. "A lot of people don't think of a chicken being so smart, but obviously this chicken is special, and she made it back to where she was taken from."
No matter how she got back, Anastasiow says, the bird is currently in good spirits and is now laying eggs.
Anastasiow says "Kwok Kwok" has given her a new appreciation for animals.
"I found out this, that animals have a good heart. They never get angry. They have more feeling than a lot of people, and I think we should go back and enjoy the butterflies, the bees, the ladybugs, the worms in the ground."
"There are other species on Earth that we should take care of."