ASAHIKAWA, Japan, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Officials at the Asahiyama Zoo in Japan are attempting to track down a flamingo that escaped the facility a month ago before it flies south for the winter.
The flamingo flew over the nearly four-foot high fence around its enclosure July 18. Zoo staff had clipped the bird's wings to prevent it from flying, but they said its feathers had grown back unbeknown to them, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Saturday.
The bird's whereabouts were unknown until it was seen in waters near Otaru, about 75 miles southwest of the zoo in Asahikawa. On July 28 it was then seen in Lake Komuke in Monbetsu, about 142 miles northeast of Otaru.
Unable to use tranquilizer guns because they could be fatal to the bird, zoo staff devised a plan to use other caged flamingos -- which prefer to remain in groups -- to bait the escaped bird, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
The staff later found one of the caged birds missing and another dead, possibly from a fox attack.
"It's the same issue as with pets. The escaped flamingo can't survive without an owner," Zoo Director Gen Bando said.
Zoo officials hope to catch the bird by next month when temperatures cool in the area dip, possibly causing the bird to fly south to warmer areas.
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