Mercedes the wedge-tailed eagle made a great escape from the Free Flight Bird Show at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday.
Mercedes the wedge-tailed eagle made a great escape from the Free Flight Bird Show at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday. Megan Stuart

Rat lures runaway bird back

A BIRD show at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was cut short on Sunday after one of its stars decided to take a well-earned break.

Mercedes the wedge-tailed eagle took flight during the Free Flight Bird Show.

It took handlers an hour and an appetising dead rat to get the predator down from a tree.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary supervisor training and presentation Michael Zella said birds flew the coop "every now and then".

"We say that we have about an 8% unsuccessful rate," Mr Zella said.

"They fly off but they always come back for food. We keep an eye on them and the noisy miners always let us know where they have gone."

Mr Zella said there could be any number of reasons why the birds fly off, including changes to their environment like or too many people in the park.

Bob Martin was at the popular bird show when the audience was ushered out of the area.

"They were trying to get the bird back," Mr Martin said.

"We saw the eagle about 30 feet up in the tree and all the other birds were carrying on."

Mr Zella said the Free Flight Bird Show would continue with holiday performances at 11.30am and 2pm from Saturday.


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