4 Peacocks Run Away From Philadelphia Zoo, Stroll Down I-76 - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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4 Peacocks Run Away From Philadelphia Zoo, Stroll Down I-76

Four birds were spotted Wednesday night strutting down Interstate 76. The peacock found dead had likely been hit by a car.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Peacock Patrol: Search Still on for Escaped Peacocks

    After four peacocks escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo on Wednesday evening, the search for the birds continues. One was found dead, but officers are hoping to find the remaining three and return them to their home.

    (Published Thursday, May 31, 2018)

    What to Know

    • The peacocks were spotted around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday strutting along I-76 westbound

    • Police say they managed to get the birds off the highway, but they were unable to capture them

    • While "peacock" is commonly used to refer to both male and females, the females are called peahens

    One of four peacocks that escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo and created a traffic jam on the nearby Schuylkill Expressway was found dead Thursday afternoon.

    The peacocks were spotted around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday strutting along I-76 westbound near the Girard Avenue exit. 

    State police shut down two of the six lanes of traffic and appeared to escort the four birds down the highway, causing backups for miles.

    Police managed to form a barricade around the peacocks and get them off the highway, but were unable to capture them. The four birds then flew away into nearby trees, with one of them managing to fly across the highway. The search was halted until daybreak Thursday.

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    Zoo staffers and police officers on Thursday morning circled the area where the peacocks were last seen and checked locations where the peacocks might explore, Philadelphia Zoo spokeswoman Dana Lombardo said.

    One of the peacocks was found dead. Lombardo said the animal was likely hit by a car.

    The search for the other three peacocks is ongoing.

    "The staff at the Zoo will continue to work with authorities to locate the peacocks and bring them to safety," Lombardo said.

    It's not unusual for the peacocks, part of a larger "free-roaming flock" cared for by zoo staff, to stray from the historic zoo, but they normally return in the evening to roost for the night, Lombardo said.

    In the meantime, zoo officials asked people not to approach the peacocks because they "are out of their normal environment and may be nervous."  Instead, people who see the peacocks can send the location, day and time and a photo of the sighting if possible to peacocks@phillyzoo.org.

    While "peacock" is commonly used to refer to both male and females, the females are called peahens. The gender of the birds was not clear.

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    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 an vehicle collision.  The remaining three peacocks have not been located. The staff at the Zoo will continue to work with authorities to locate the peacocks and bring them to safety.