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Flamingo escape from the Abilene Zoo prompts 1-hour chase

By Wayne McCormick, wmccormick@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:20:09 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 15 2013 08:32:45 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene Zoo workers had fun Thursday afternoon trying to catch a flamingo that escaped.

"The flamingo was perfectly content in the lake," said Abilene Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. "He was out swimming and having a great time."

The zoo normally keeps the birds wings clipped so they can't fly away, but this one apparently had some feathers that had grown back.

As workers were herding the flamingos into a barn to have their wings checked, this guy caught a gust of wind and managed to make it over the fence and into the Nelson Park lake.

Gersonde said flamingos are one of the most common animals to escape zoos.

"When you're dealing with birds in particular and birds that you have to clip their wings to keep them from flying, sometimes these things do happen," he said.

Workers chased the fugitive flamingo for about an hour before one was able to jump in the water and grab the bird.

The flamingo is OK, a little stressed, but zoo workers said he'll get over it.

Gersonde said the zoo takes a lot of precautions to ensure animals can't escape, especially dangerous ones.

"It's a very remote chance," he said. "The jaguars would have to get through 3 sets of doors to be in the public space."