1 Peacock Remains at Large After Flock of 4 Fled Philadelphia Zoo
One of the peacocks was found dead Thursday afternoon, officials said.
One peacock remains missing after four of the birds broke out of the Philadelphia Zoo earlier this week and became loose in the City of Brotherly Love.
"The search continues for the remaining peacock," Dana Lombardo of the Philadelphia Zoo said in a statement to InsideEdition.com. "[We] wanted everybody aware that the remaining bird is young, and does not have the bright plumage and long tail of an adult male.
On Thursday, zoo officials discovered one of the four escaped peacocks dead.
“After circling the area where the peacocks were last seen and checking locations where the peacocks might explore, the team found one of the peacocks deceased, likely due to a vehicle collision," Lombardo said.
Fortunately, two of the peacocks were returned to the zoo safely and in good health Friday morning, after a passerby spotted the pair near the equestrian center in Fairmont Park and reached out to the zoo.
"Both birds appear healthy, if a little hungry, [and] have been examined by the veterinary staff," Lombardo said.
These colorful pheasants are part of the famous free-roaming flock living at the Philadelphia Zoo. While zookeepers care for the peafowl, they don’t live in an enclosure or an exhibit, but instead are free to venture around the zoo.
The ordeal began when the four peacocks ventured off zoo grounds Wednesday evening, wandered onto public roads, and held up traffic for miles on the highway.
The disturbance caused the shutdown of two lanes on Interstate 76, according to KYW.
"Venturing beyond the zoo gates is not an unusual occurrence for the peacocks that at times have left the zoo and returned home on their own,” Lombardo said. "What is unusual is the distance they traveled yesterday."
While police eventually got the peacocks off the road — two of which were seen settling into a nearby tree and the other two fleeing over a highway barrier — zoo officials advised them to continue their round-up in the morning.
When initial search efforts on Thursday morning proved unsuccessful, Lombardo said it could take "possibly days or weeks" to bring the remaining peacocks to safety.
Lombardo said the zoo will reconsider allowing young peacocks to wander the zoo freely, as the older ones are less likely to escape and look into more permanent changes to the peacocks' routines for the future.
Zoo officials are asking anyone who spots the last peacock to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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