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Last Updated: Monday, 7 August 2006, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
African vulture vanishes from zoo
Bones - an African White-backed Vulture
The curator said the African White-backed Vulture was not a good flyer
A vulture has escaped from a Staffordshire zoo, police have said.

The African White-backed Vulture, called Bones, vanished from an enclosure in Blackbrook Zoological Park, in Winkhill, near Leek.

The bird, which has a creamy, white-coloured back and brown feathers, stands at 30in (76cm) high and has a wing span of about 11ft (3.3m).

The five-year-old ringed bird was last seen on Friday, but had gone by Saturday when staff arrived for work.

'Not great flyer'

Malcolm Mycock, curator, said the bird, which is one of a pair, was not aggressive and would not kill its own prey.

"It looks like it has somehow managed to get through a small hole which had been gnawed in the aviary's nylon net.

"They're not great flyers and instead tend to soar on air thermals.

"It looks like your typical vulture so you'd probably have a bit of a shock if you saw it in your garden," he said.

Although the bird is not said to be dangerous anyone who sees it is advised not to attempt to catch it.


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