FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Some good news for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, one of the two birds that were reported stolen on Sunday, has been returned.
We’re told a resident saw the story about the stolen birds on media outlets, spotted the pigeon on Monday, and called the zoo.
“We’re ecstatic he was returned,” said Deputy Director and COO of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Amos Morris.
The rare Nicobar Pigeon is back home in the zoo aviary.
“I would say half of the pressure has been lifted, there’s a good number of staff that are very excited, that are pretty close to old man nicobar, you know they’re healing their hearts a bit,” Morris said.
The pigeon, considered a near-threatened species – was stolen early Sunday morning along with a Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, named Charlie.
“That bird is also particularly old and has old related type health issues that we’re concerned about so we still want to see him come back,” he said.
The zoo shared this surveillance video with us, it shows a person walking in the zoo.
Fresno Police say the suspect jumped the fence into the zoo, broke the lock to the aviary, took the birds, jumped back over the fence, and ran away.
But the staff credit the power of media outlets for the safe return of the pigeon.
“He was found by some citizens out east of town and he was safely caught up and brought to the zoo for care and our veterinarian took a peek and appears to be doing ok,” Morris said.
The aviary was closed to the public for the remainder of the day as staff worked to get Old Man Nicobar reacclimated to his home.
“The next 24 hours will definitely let us know how he’s doing, you know it’s a little stressful getting picked up out of your bed and taken out and about so we’ll see how he settles in,” Morris said.
Police are investigating this as a felony. Staff asks if anyone knows the whereabouts of Charlie to please give them or the police a call.