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Honolulu Zoo reopens but is still searching for missing rare bird

  • Video by Jamm Aquino /

    One of the missing African ground hornbill birds is still on the loose. Martha, the 15-year-old female, returned to the zoo on Monday morning. Najuma, the 15-year-old male, remains at large.


    One African ground hornbill was still missing this morning from the Honolulu Zoo.

The Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki reopened today at 11:15 a.m., city officials announced. The zoo closed Sunday at 11:35 a.m. due to falling branches.

Zoo officials, meanwhile, have captured one of two African ground hornbills that escaped from an enclosure at the zoo after a tree fell on it.

One of the hornbills is now within the zoo, according to officials, while the second one was recently sighted by a visitor at the Diamond Head visitor lookout, and described as heading up the mountain.

Hornbills are large, black birds, with patches of red around their eyes and throats. The hornbills are notable for their long eyelashes, large bills and stubby legs, according to a description on the Honolulu Zoo Society website, with inflatable throat skin that is evident when they make a guttural call. Many tribes in Africa believe the ground hornbill is a rain prophet.

They are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List. Anyone who spots the hornbill is asked to call 911, but not to approach the bird because it could easily be frightened.

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