Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bright red bird escapes from Edinburgh Zoo

The scarlet ibis seen near Seafield Sewage Works Pic: Graham Erskine
Image caption In the wild Scarlet Ibis inhabit tropical South America and islands of the Caribbean

A rare bird has escaped from Edinburgh Zoo and is on the loose in the city after a squirrel chewed a hole at the top of its cage.

Keepers noticed the scarlet ibis was missing and it was later spotted three miles away in Dundas Street, close to the city centre.

The bird is believed to have escaped through a hole in netting which covers its enclosure.

It is in danger of being attacked by predators because of its bright colour.

Dundas Street

The zoo and animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA are tracking the ibis and say they were close to catching it several times.

Darren McGarry, head of animals at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "Our bird team noticed one of our scarlet ibis was missing from the enclosure this morning and a search of Edinburgh Zoo showed the bird had seemed to have left the site.

"This was confirmed when members of the public spotted it on Dundas Street.

"A small hole in the netting over the top of the enclosure was apparent this morning, so we think a squirrel must have chewed through it overnight."

He added: "Together with the Scottish SPCA, our bird team have come close to capturing the bird a few times but we haven't had success yet.

"They'll return again early evening for some more attempts and will continue trying until it gets dark, then again tomorrow morning.

"The best way to catch the bird will be when it comes down on its own or gets hungry."

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