“The peacock poses no danger to anyone,” the Wildlife Conservation Society – the Central Park Zoo’s parent – said in a statement when a male peafowl flew away. After roosting on a fifth-story apartment ledge for hours, the 2-year-old nameless bird returned home on his own, but not without first gaining a Twitter handle, @CentralPeacock, as escaped animals are wont to do.
She was the slippery slithering sensation who kicked off the 2011 runaway season. The Bronx Zoo’s Egyptian cobra went missing for seven days in March, and was later found coiled in a dark corner of the site. She was later named Mia (get it?). On Twitter: @BronxZoosCobra
This next Bronx Zoo fugitive, a 2-year-old peahen, left the park in May, crossed the road and almost got hit by a car. She ended up inside an auto-repair shop and was finally returned to the zoo. On Twitter: @BronxZooPeacock
Did Juan the Andean bear use a bicycle to run away in 2004? Not quite. After using a log to paddle across a moat, he tried to take the bike, but was cornered by zookeepers and taken back to his enclosure.
He ended up at the zoo, but Reggie the alligator didn’t start out there. For two years, the elusive reptile teased his captors by making occasional appearances in an L.A. lake. Once caught, Reggie was taken to the L.A. Zoo in 2007, where he nearly escaped again later that year.
They’re not quite zoo animals, but turtles at New York’s JFK Airport perennially end up in the news for their tendency to walk across the runway and cause delays. The turtles have to crawl across the tarmac to get to their breeding grounds. On Twitter: @JFKTurtles