Everything about the above video is bonkers. It takes place at a minor league hockey game in Bakersfield, California, where the Bakersfield Condors were set to take on the San Francisco Bulls in East Coast Hockey League action. (Yes, Bakersfield and San Francisco play in the East Coast Hockey League — that’s probably the least ridiculous part of this story.)
The Bakersfield Condors were looking for a little extra pre-game inspiration, so the team invited an actual California condor, named Queen Victoria, onto the ice prior to the opening face-off. Unfortunately, the team forgot that hockey is played on ice and that ice tends to be on the slippery side.
After the condor got loose during the national anthem, her human handler lost his footing while trying to corral her and accidentally bodyslammed her into the ice. This pissed off the condor, obviously, and she then flew over to the players’ bench and freaked out a lot of hockey players — men generally considered to be the toughest athletes on the planet.
In a comment on YouTube, a man claiming to be the bird’s handler explained how she managed to get loose:
Yeah, sorry guys. The rehearsals were perfect, but during the live spot the bird changed her mind and there was no way to abort. When I tried to carry her back and save the spot, I slipped on the ice and cracked 4 ribs. I got up slow. The bird stared at me and then players came out and she found the nearest exit. So long as the bird is never at risk, it’s okay. This bird has flown in our educational bird shows for 18 years, with little attention. But a 30 second blooper video goes viral. Ugh!
Here’s another look at everything that went down, complete with the wonderful audio of the announcers totally losing it as everything descends into chaos: