2 birds escape NC Zoo, tip line proving helpful in locating them

The search is on for two African Secretary Birds that have escaped the NC Zoo. If you see the bird call the Zoo Hotline at 336.879.7610 (Savana Hamm/WFMY)

ASHEBORO, N.C. (WFMY) – Two birds from the North Carolina Zoo are still on the loose, but a spokesperson said their teams have eyes on them.

The zoo’s Gary Buchanan said the hotline number set up on Sunday has been “extremely successful” in locating both African Secretary Birds that escaped Friday. He said they have a perimeter, where a team of workers is observing them and reports they are healthy.

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Buchanan also said they are feeding and hunting, and adapting to their environment. Zoo officials said they’re not announcing where or how big the perimeter is because the number one priority is to keep the birds calm and safe.

While they would not speculate on how long it will take to recapture the animals, officials say they are optimistic and are currently trying to entice them into enclosures with food at a distance.

Buchanan says social media and the hotline have played a huge role in finding the birds. He encourages anyone who has spotted them to continue to call and leave tips on a confidential line. The number is 336-879-7610.

Savana Hamm captured a picture of one of the birds after encountering it on a country road.

“I was like – that’s a bird. That’s a giant bird. I thought it was like a roadrunner – but I was like, those aren’t here right?” she laughed. “I just couldn’t believe what I saw. It kind of scared me because I was like – that’s really tall. And it’s not moving when I inch a little bit closer, it was kind of playing chicken with my car. I was like – I’m going to let you do your thing. ”

© 2017 WFMY-TV

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