Peacock Escapes Zoo, Dies After Feet Frozen to Tree

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014  |  Updated 12:06 PM EDT
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Assistant Zoo Manager Kristin Wuestenfeld was lifted up to the bird, Blue, by the West Dundee Fire Department.

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A peacock that escaped from a suburban Chicago zoo Tuesday and had its feet frozen to a tree while spending 90 minutes in below-zero temperatures has died from the cold, zoo officials said.

Blue, a male peacock that lived at the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo for at least five years, flew out of his heated pen and on top of a nearby pine tree Tuesday after he was fed and cleaned, according to Randall Oak’s park and division manager Brian Mangiaracina.

Staff attempted to rescue the bird but ultimately called the West Dundee Fire Department, which brought in a 100-foot ladder for the rescue.

The Assistant Zoo Manager Kristin Wuestenfeld was lifted up to the bird, whose feet had become frozen to the tree in the negative 12-degree temperatures, Mangiaracina said.

Once the bird was pulled from the branch, officials warmed his feet and put him under watch in a heated building for quarantine, Mangiaracina said.

But despite the attempts to save Blue, he passed away overnight, zoo officials said.

Officials believe Blue died from fluid buildup in his lungs developed during his time outside.

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