PHILADELPHIA — One of four proud peacocks who strutted away from the Philadelphia Zoo this week was found dead Thursday, likely hit by a vehicle, officials said.
The peacocks ventured off the grounds of the Philadelphia Zoo Wednesday night, said Dana Lombardo, a zoo spokesperson. The birds were spotted strolling along a part of Interstate 76 about a mile from the zoo after they left the zoo, according to CNN affiliate WPVI.
State Police shut down several lanes on the interstate, causing traffic delays as they tried to shield the birds and capture them.
But the gang of four got away.
Thursday, one peacock’s body was found on the interstate, also known as the Schuylkill Expressway, Lombardo said.
Zoo employees have been working around the clock to locate the other three peacocks, according to Lombardo.
She couldn’t say whether the missing birds of a feather usually flock together.
The four peacocks are part of large flock that roams freely at the zoo in west Philadelphia, where the birds are cared for by zoo staff. The zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, according to the zoo’s website.
Lombardo said zoo staff noticed the peacocks were missing Wednesday night and waited until daylight to try to find them.
This isn’t the first time the peacocks have roamed off, but they usually return. They have a homing sense, Lombardo said.
But they traveled farther than usual this time, she said.
Zoo officials are asking the public to not approach the birds. They’re probably nervous about being out of their element, Lombardo said.
Anyone who spots the missing peacocks is encouraged to reach out to the zoo at Peacocks@phillyzoo.org with a time, location and photograph, if possible.