If you see a pair of four-foot tall, multicolored eagle-like birds roaming around Lee County, you might want to call the zoo.
That’s where they belong.
The News and Observer reported Monday that two secretary birds which escaped from the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro back in May had recently been spotted near Sanford.
The birds escaped from the zoo in May after heavy winds created an opening their enclosure, according to the N&O’s report.
From the story:
While zoo officials were able to track the birds when they were closer to the zoo, there hasn’t been a confirmed citing for about a week. The birds were last seen near Sanford and Ramseur, so the zoo is asking people to continue to keep an eye out for the birds.
A hotline has been set up for people to report sightings: 336-879-7610. Zoo officials are asking that people take photos if they see the birds.
While the birds can fly, the N&O article describes them as “largely terrestrial,” and Wikipedia states that they are non-migratory — so they could still be in the area.
Of course, given that there hasn’t been a sighting (not “citing,” as the N&O puts it, LPH) in a week, the birds could be anywhere. The 50-plus mile trek from the zoo in Asheboro to Ramseur and then to Sanford would take about an hour and a half by car.
If they did move on from the Sanford area on their current trajectory, the birds could be in such far-flung, exotic locales as Fayetteville, Spivey’s Corner, Four Oaks, or Laurinburg by now. Wikipedia states that adult secretary birds, which are native to sub-Saharan Africa, have no known predators.
So keep your eyes peeled.