Travelers along one of Israel’s busiest highways on Sunday morning encountered an unusual fellow road user — a flamingo strolling amid the rush hour traffic.
Drivers posted videos to social media showing the bird plodding along Route 4 — forcing cars to maneuver around it — and occasionally breaking into a run when startled by passing vehicles.
Members of the public correctly assumed that the bird was from the Ramat Gan Safari, which borders part of the highway, and reported the stray, who is named Shulman, to staff.
Keepers quickly went out to look for Shulman and, with the help of the public and police who arrived to help, were soon able to locate him.
לא משעמם על כביש 4. פלמינגו יצא לטיול מחוץ לספארי????
The flamingo was apparently blown out of his enclosure at the safari by strong winds which gusted across the country over the weekend, the safari said in a statement.
Shulman was taken for a checkup by veterinarians and after being given a clean bill of health, was returned to his exhibit grounds where he joined the rest of the flock.
The safari has 15 flamingos. Though they are capable of flying considerable distances, the birds prefer to stay close to their lake in the enclosure where the habitat provides all of their needs, a spokesperson for the safari said.
Shulman’s brief highway adventure is not the first time animals have stepped out of the safari. In March 2016, a rhinoceros walked out of an open gate at the safari with a keeper in hot pursuit. A year earlier, three rhinos tiptoed out of a side gate and spent several minutes outside, to the astonishment of passing joggers. On both occasions the rhinos were soon returned to the safari without injury or damage to public property.
אמו – ציפור אוסטרלית ממשפחת היענאים נתפס ליד קניון שבעת הכוכבים בהרצליה. נראה שברח מחווה סמוכה. "ססאמו.. נתפסתי". pic.twitter.com/GP5zzVX3Ub
— Guy Cotev גיא קוטב (@guycotev) January 4, 2015
In 2015, an emu escaped from a farm and took a stroll down a highway near Herzliya in the central region of the country. It was taken by municipality workers to a nearby pound, and subsequently returned to its owners.