Officials with the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have been searching for a missing Steller's Sea Eagle named Kodiak since Saturday after the bird escaped from the largest aviary in the United States.
Multiple sightings of Kodiak — or "Kody," for short — have been reported since he mysteriously escaped the aviary over the weekend. The National Aviary said on Saturday a thick wire used to enclose the bird "had a gap in one area that was not there before,” according to a tweet, adding that "this is extremely unusual."
"The National Aviary continues to search Pittsburgh’s Northside and surrounding communities for Kody, the Steller’s Sea Eagle," the nonprofit bird zoo tweeted Wednesday just before 5 p.m. local time. "Beginning on Saturday, we launched a coordinated effort to find and bring Kody home."
Officials with the aviary cautioned the public to "not approach" the eagle despite multiple social media images and videos showing close encounters with Kodiak as he navigates through the urban environment. A group of runners encountered the bird Saturday evening near Pennsylvania Ave. and Pittsburgh's North Side, according to a local KDKA reporter.
🦅 WOW! Here’s a close up video of the Steller’s Sea Eagle named Kodiak that escaped from the @National_Aviary this morning. A group of runners saw him on Pennsylvania Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Side. IF YOU SEE THE EAGLE, DON’T APPROACH AND CALL 412-323-7235! pic.twitter.com/y8ehO0ycY2
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) September 25, 2021
Aviary officials said at a news conference Tuesday that the large bird had been spotted in the North Side and areas surrounding Riverview Park.
"Animal care staff, volunteers, and even administrative staff members have been working in teams to search for Kody and respond to sightings reported by the community," the aviary said, noting additional staff members at the facility taking care of the birds, preparing snack bags for search teams, and answering calls about public sightings.
The zoo is home to more than 500 birds of 150 different species.
The facility's Twitter account said it will remain closed on Thursday as officials continue the search for Kody, adding, "We are taking this day-by-day, & hope to reopen soon."
My neighbor Greg is a great photographer and took some better pics of the eagle pic.twitter.com/1urcoHaRJa
— Ashley Battle (@The_Battle_Zone) September 25, 2021
Kodiak has been at the aviary for roughly 15 years and has distinct features, such as dark brown and white wings, a large yellow beak, and a 6-foot wingspan. Aviary staff has said the eagle is not deemed a threat to pets or humans, and witnesses are asked to contact the National Aviary at 412-323-7235.
Please do not approach him, as he is likely to fly away from anyone unfamiliar to him, and he’s likely to avoid people and pets. While we are eager to get him home, this may take time. We do not believe he has gone far, and we remain committed to finding him. pic.twitter.com/XPaRzbTlGS
— National Aviary (@National_Aviary) September 26, 2021
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Large eagle flies the coop at Pittsburgh aviary