The other ‘sun conure’ which escaped from the zoo on Sunday is still at large

Nearly 24 hours since the escapade began, one of the absconding sun conure birds at the city zoo tottered into its trap at noon on Monday, unable to withstand hunger pangs..

It could no longer do with just nibbling through the bars as it had cleverly been doing. Finally, it followed a trail of peanuts into the trap, admitting defeat and putting the strung out keepers out of their misery.

The other one, suspected to be the female, chose to revel in its newfound freedom a little longer.

Location unknown

According to one keeper, she flew off to explore the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds instead and startle a few Nanthancode residents with its stunning flame plumage. Its location is currently unknown but officials are certain that she too will find her way home soon enough.

Four keepers spent the night on the road next to the enclosure, swatting mosquitoes and shining light into the branches to make sure the bird was still there.

Predators

More importantly, they were watching out for predators such as mongoose and palm civets (or marapattis).

The risk of larger birds swooping down on the conures, whose movements are comparatively sluggish, being caged all their lives, was also one they were anticipating.

By sunrise, none of the keepers had slept a wink.

The stress of the previous day and night got to one of them as he collapsed and was diagnosed with abnormally high blood pressure.

A ‘108’ ambulance was called and he was taken to the General Hospital, where he is recovering.

Monday being a holiday meant the zoo premises was mercifully empty.

A temporary measure was resorted to as officials arranged for a plastic blend sheet to be sewn on top of the conures’ fractured cage.

Rs. 10,000 a pair

The absconding pair is among the five born last year. Four of them were brought to the city zoo from Bangalore in 2009, at a cost of Rs.10,000 a pair.