Zoo’s Free-roaming Peahen Takes a Bronx Holiday

For the second time in six weeks, a Bronx Zoo animal has gone AWOL.

A peahen escaped the confines of the Zoo on Monday, May 9 and led rescuers on a wild chase around the Van Nest area for two days.

The bird was finally apprehended at an auto glass repair shop on E. Tremont Avenue on Wednesday, May 11. In March, an Egyptian cobra made national headlines when it escaped its glass enclosure and forced a two-week closure of the Reptile House.

Unlike the poisonous cobra, peahens and their male counterparts, peacocks, are allowed to freely roam the zoo’s grounds. Even though that policy makes escaping to the outside world less of a challenge, it will continue.

“We thank our Bronx neighbors and the New York Police Department for helping us retrieve our peahen,” Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement. “She has been examined by our veterinarians at our Wildlife Health Center where she is resting comfortably. Preliminary indications are that she is in good condition. We will keep our tradition of free-roaming peafowl at the Bronx Zoo. We are confident that after this peahen’s recent adventure, she won’t want to wander from her home at the zoo.”

The bird was spotted on Morris Park Avenue, as well as Melville Street, but she managed to escape zoo workers every time they tried to sneak-up on her.

The 2-year-old fowl sealed her own fate when she wandered into the auto repair shop on E. Tremont between Taylor and Theriot avenues. Shop workers corralled her and she was retrieved in under an hour by Breheny, the NYPD and zoo employees.

Perhaps it’s because she already freely wandered the zoo, or maybe because she isn’t poisonous or because she only lasted two days on the lam, but the peahen did not gain the national notoriety of Mia the missing snake.

Mia got her name from an online poll that received nearly 60,000 votes. Yet the recently recaptured bird is still anonymous.

The peahen has, however, caught on to one tool used by Mia and other celebrities for self promotion. She’s on Twitter.

“The streets of New York are a GOLD MINE. Why do people throw this stuff away? Cashews! Pretzels! Pizza crusts! Ooh, a little bag of sugar!” @BronxZoosPeahen tweeted on Wednesday, May 11.

However, with only 175 followers, she has a long way to go to catch up with @BronxZoosCobra’s 240,000.

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