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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Missing vulture 'on nearby moor'
Bones - an African White-backed Vulture
Bones could be one of a number of vultures at large in England
A missing vulture is thought to be living on moorland just a few miles from the zoo from which it escaped.

Bones, an African White-backed Vulture, escaped from Blackbrook Zoological Park near Leek in Staffordshire a month ago.

Staff believe the bird, which stands at 30in (76cm) high, is living off road kill on nearby Blackshaw Moor.

Malcolm Mycock, curator, said they were hoping to catch the five-year-old in the winter when it is less active and perches on lower ground.

He said there had been sightings from around the country but he believed the bird was probably nearby as the best sightings had been at Blackshaw.

Apparently there are three or four vultures flying around the countryside
Malcolm Mycock

"It is still about but we haven't been able to catch it. They feed on carrion, things like road kill - badgers and foxes.

"I think our best chance of catching it now is in the winter. They tend to sit around more in the winter."

He said the initial search for the bird had been confused because there appeared to be a number of escaped vultures "at large" in England.

"We've had sightings from around the country. Apparently there are three or four vultures flying around the countryside."

Other areas where vultures had been spotted were north Wales, Cornwall and Norfolk, said Mr Mycock.

Bones, which has a wingspan of about 11ft (3.3m), is one of a pair and is not aggressive, but anyone who spots it is advised not to try to catch him.

False sighting of missing vulture
15 Aug 06 |  Staffordshire
African vulture vanishes from zoo
07 Aug 06 |  Staffordshire

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