Tuesday 19 November 2019

Rare missing bird returned to zoo

A Scarlet ibis which escaped from Edinburgh Zoo last week and was spotted across the Scottish capital has been returned to its home
A Scarlet ibis which escaped from Edinburgh Zoo last week and was spotted across the Scottish capital has been returned to its home

A rare bird has been returned to its home at Edinburgh Zoo after evading keepers for almost a week.

The Scarlet ibis escaped from its enclosure last Tuesday and its bright red plumage has been spotted across the capital city.

Zookeepers tracked the two-year-old female to the Cramond area on Sunday and tempted the bird into a trap using her favourite food of mussels and prawns.

Keepers believe she was able to flee the enclosure she shares with fellow ibis and flamingos after a squirrel chewed through its net covering.

The adventurous bird will join them after a spell in quarantine.

Colin Oulton from the zoo's bird section said: "The escapee bird took to perching in places that made it a tad more difficult to recapture her, so we had to wait for the best time to make our move.

"We always knew that it wouldn't be a straightforward or easy task and that it would take a little time and patience, and luckily it paid off, as we were able to do just that after a few attempts to encourage her towards a carry box with some mussels and prawns."

He said the bird, native to South America, had likely opted for the northwest Cramond area due to its proximity to the seashore where she would have been able to catch food herself.

"Although she seems to be in perfect health, we're just carrying out some routine tests, and after four to five days in quarantine she'll be reunited with the other birds after her mini adventure across Edinburgh," said Oulton.

PA Media

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