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Local elementary school locates stolen Zoo bird


In a classic case of whodunit, a bird, a racket-tailed roller from the San Antonio Zoo recently went missing, snatched from its aviary thought never to be seen again. That was until a couple of keen-eyed teachers from Higgs, Carter, King Gifted and Talented Charter Academy came to the rescue.

On December 20, what started out as a normal, sunny San Antonio day, Mrs. Bonillas, a 5th grade teacher, noticed an unusual, but quite beautiful bird perched on a nearby fence. Mrs. Bonillas, an avid animal lover, immediately knew this was NO ordinary bird, but rather a rare bird that must have come from the Zoo. Mrs. Bonillas summoned fellow teacher, Mrs. Crims, to show her the beautiful bird. Mrs. Crims knew she needed to phone the San Antonio Zoo about this delightful visitor.

Armed with a cage, nets and treats, Josef San Miguel, San Antonio Zoo Bird Curator, rushed to the school with high hopes of capturing the bird, but to no avail. By the time he arrived, the bird was gone. Thinking his hopes had been dashed, within ten minutes, the bird returned. There is nothing like a feast of mealworms, crickets and bugs to lure any bird. As hoped, the feast was not in vain, the delicious treats made it easy for Josef to gently scoop up the hungry bird. What a much-welcomed reunion!

Once safely back in capable and caring hands, this lovely bird was ready to go home, but not until visiting some very excited 5th graders! Mrs. Crim and her class enjoyed a quick racket-tailed roller lesson, an impromptu photo session, and a farewell to their new feathered friend!

Thanks to the quick-thinking staff at Higgs, Carter, King Gifted and Talented Charter Academy, this precious animal was returned to its aviary home in Africa Live! at the San Antonio Zoo.