Peahen flies the coop at Brookfield Zoo

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By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

See photos of the peahen here.

Back in 2011, a pair of peacocks (peahens, actually; they were females) escaped from Brookfield Zoo and were seen around Brookfield and Riverside for a week before returning home.

Well, one of the peahens is back on the prowl and this time made it all the way to Oak Park.

Based on calls received by Riverside police, the wayward hen was clearly headed northeast, and ended up in east central Oak Park on Saturday. Residents took photos in the backyard of a residence in the 200 block of South Oak Park Avenue and on top of a car parked in a driveway in the 500 block of South Grove Avenue.

"It flew into our backyard and started eating the cherries off the ground that had fallen off our cherry tree," said Kirsten Weismantle, who lives on Oak Park Avenue.

Weismantle said police told the family that zoo officials do not retrieve escaped birds. "If the bird survived crossing the Eisenhower to get to Oak Park, she probably deserves a vacation," Weismantle said.

When the peahens escaped in 2011, they made it as far as North Riverside Park Mall before heading back home. At the time, the zoo's spokeswoman, Sondra Katzen, said peacocks and peahens occasionally fly the coop and are pretty adept at avoiding predators since they can fly into trees.

In the past, they have eventually ended up back home, where their food supply is.

"We're still pretty confident they'll make their way back," said Katzen on Monday. She was under the impression that up to three peacocks from the zoo's collection may still be unaccounted for.

Contact:
Email: ktrainor@wjinc.com

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