SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 27, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s Hogle Zoo has announced its second bird death in less than eight weeks after a blue and gold macaw, Winston, flew away from the World of Flight Bird Show and was killed.
The macaw had been with the show for close to 10 years, according to a news release from the zoo. After a morning bird show, as guests left the theater, Winston got spooked and flew away from his perch.
Bird show trainers chased after Winston as he flew out across Sunnyside Avenue and was hit by a car. The driver was reportedly elderly and did not stop. Winston died immediately.
“We’re just so devastated,” said Steve Chindgren, founder of the World of Flight Bird Show. “We’re all trying to process it a little bit so that we can even come to work tomorrow. We’re sick…. Life is hard enough and we love these birds so much we put hours and hours of time into them.”
According to information from the zoo, this is only the second violent loss in the 23 years of the bird show. The first was in May, when Laner falcon “Max,” flew away and landed in the wolf enclosure, where he was quickly killed.
“They’ve been absolute flukes — that’s the only word for it,” Chindgren said. “Just flukes, devastating flukes.”
Winston was a rescue bird, given to the Zoo roughly eight years ago. Max’s age was unknown.