Cockatoo goes AWOL but now back at Auckland Zoo

9:46 am on 26 April 2018

A cockatoo that escaped from Auckland Zoo on Tuesday has been returned, after a night out in the North Shore.

Mabo the red-tail cockatoo was on his second free-flight training session outside his enclosure. The session teaches the bird how to fly outside the enclosure, and then back down.

Lizzie Perrett from Auckland Zoo said the bird got spooked by a pack of gulls, and took off into nearby trees, but wasn't able to be coaxed down.

He was found in Birkdale by a local resident on Wednesday morning, who happened to be a vet nurse, and was able to capture him and bring him back to the zoo, she said.

"When each one of us came into the room we were greeted with some very loud squawking. He was clearly quite pleased to see us and he knows that we're a good source of food and a lot of attention so he was quite happy to see us. Then while we were chatting with the vet he was literally falling asleep on my hand."