A beloved Palo Alto Zoo bald eagle named Sequoia flew away during a zoo demonstration on Monday and zoo officials were "desperate" for her safe return. But don't worry, there's a happy ending!
Much like the salty former First Lady in the underrated 1990s film, Guarding Tess, the 28-year-old female eagle likes to outwit her devoted keepers and sneak out for the occasional joyride. Sequoia usually returns within an hour or so but for the first time in a lifetime of captivity, the eagle had been missing for days.
When she was just five months old, Sequoia was found suffering from gunshot wounds in Humboldt County. (The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 makes shooting an eagle illegal, but people are the worst.) Sequoia can fly, but thanks to the guy who shot her, not well enough to hunt and catch food.
John Aikin has been with Sequoia since her rescue and arrival at the San Francisco Zoo in 1988, where Aikin then worked. Aiken eventually took on the role as Director of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, and Sequoia eventually moved to join him.
“We’ve grown and changed a lot in those years,” Aikin told the Chronicle.
Aiken was beside himself over Sequoia's escape, telling the Chronicle, "I am desperate to find her and bring her home safely."
Sequoia was spotted flying around West Palo Alto on Tuesday afternoon, and her radio transmitter picked up her location on Thursday. Friday morning, according to her Twitter account, she was found safe, and is headed home.