Update: The chicken was reunited with its ower, according to Deputy Chief Paul Upton. It had escaped from its coop on Cherry Street, he said in an email.
It's not the sort of call Somerville police hear from their dispatcher on a regular basis: "Chicken stuck in a snow bank."
But that's just the transmission officers responded to Tuesday night, according to the Somerville Police Department's website.
The website says at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the stuck chicken near the Shaw's supermarket parking lot off Elm Street in Porter Square.
Once on the scene, "Officer Difava bravely jumped into action and saved the chicken from certain peril," the website says.
The story caught the attention of Boston.com. Deputy Chief Paul Upton of the Somerville Police Department told the news website rescuing chickens isn't a normal occurrence in the city. "We rescue dogs and cats but I think this might be the first chicken we’ve ever seen,” he said.
Somerville Patch contacted Khrysti Smyth, a.k.a. "The Chickeness," about the situation, originally thinking it might have been one of her chickens, which she raises near Porter Square.
Smyth is Somerville's resident chicken-raising expert. Among other things, her business, Yardbirds Backyard Chickens, helps people set up urban chicken-raising operations. She's spoken to the Somerville Board of Aldermen about chicken raising in Somerville, and she writes a blog called "The Chickeness."
Smyth said the chicken wasn't hers. "My girls are all snug as bugs in rugs in their coop," she said in an email.
But the situation had Smyth befuddled.
For one thing, "Chickens go to bed pretty early, and don't move again until dawn—because that's when the predators come out—so the fact that this bird was out there at night is very strange," she wrote.
What's more, "Most chickens, in my experience, aren't really all that exploratory, and even less so if there's snow. They'd be much more likely to stay in the immediate area of their coop then to wander [around in] the street," she said.
She said the whole situation is a "mystery."