November 19, 2008

Zoo’s flamingo gets 6 hours of freedom

Officials with a Des Moines, Iowa, zoo say a Chilean flamingo that escaped from its enclosure was found six hours later on a golf course.

Blank Park Zoo officials said the flamingo's escape Tuesday was only the second time one of the colorful birds had gotten away in the 40-year history of the zoo, and both times the birds were found at the nearby A.H. Blank Golf Course, The Des Moines Register reported Wednesday.

The officials said they were notified about 9 a.m. Tuesday that one of its 31 flamingos had been spotted in a resident's front yard. Zookeeper Chad Comer said he tracked the bird to the golf course about 2: 30 p.m. and he and other zoo employees spent about half an hour hemming it in along a fence.

The bird was back on display at the zoo by 3:30 p.m. after zoo employees walked it home and trimmed its feathers. Zoo officials said the bird had never been seen flying before, but it had recently molted, allowing flight feathers to regrow.