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from Tampa Bay Online


Bird Eats Up Hundreds of Butterflies in Indianapolis Zoo Exhibit

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A mockingbird gobbled hundreds of rare butterflies in a zoo exhibit over two weeks while evading attempts to catch it.

The bird apparently entered the Indianapolis Zoo's conservatory through a vent or window. The exhibit had about 1,500 butterflies and was due to close Labor Day.

The lost butterflies were worth about $1,000. Brilliant neon butterflies called blue morphos were especially hard hit.

The bird hid in the 65-foot-tall conservatory until late July, when zoo staff members soaked it with a hose and finally caught it in a net.

"You can't blame the bird. He was doing what came naturally," zoo gardener Susan Micks said.

The bird was released "far, far away," zoo spokeswoman Judy Gagen said.

2002, Media General Inc. All rights reserved

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