Case Of The Missing Zoo Birds

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

Two birds are still missing from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and zookeepers are losing hope they are still alive.

The pair of green Aracari Toucans has been missing since Friday night or early Saturday morning. They are native to South America and can't withstand the cold temperatures we’ve been having. "We're concerned since the last few nights were below freezing and there was no food source. The birds eat fruit and there is no budding fruit on the trees," Sean Anglum, zoo spokesperson said.

The birds are able to fly freely inside the exhibit, but in the 5 years that “Salsa” and “Verde’ have been at the zoo, they never tried to get out. Zookeepers are baffled about what happened. There are three sets of doors to get inside and outside the exhibit. They believe the birds were either birdnapped or set free on purpose.

"We think they're valued at $1,000 to $2,000. If you saw them in pet store, they would stick out like sore thumb because they aren't available through pet shops," Anglum said.

Since their disappearance, the Aracari Toucan information plaque has been removed from the exhibit.

The zoo says the exhibit has been around for 30 years and nothing like this has happened before. They hope that someone out there knows what happened this past weekend. Anyone with information is asked to call the zoo at 633-9925, ext. 111.


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