MNN Galleries

Hairy Houdinis: 13 animal escape artists

By: Bryan Nelson on Aug. 17, 2017, 11:07 a.m.
golden eagle

Photo: Bill Majoros/flickr

7 of 15

Goldie the golden eagle

Goldie, a golden eagle who lived at the London Zoo, became a national sensation in the 1960s after escaping from his enclosure and evading recapture for 12 days.

The bird (similar to the one pictured here) initially escaped after a zoo employee carelessly left his cage open during a cleaning, but it was his playful evasion of officials for the following 12 days that inspired public adoration. Failed recapture attempts by firefighters, police and even an Ethiopian bird piper eventually earned Goldie a following — as many as 5,000 people were estimated to have shown up to cheer him on throughout the escape.

Goldie showed a remarkable ability to survive on his own, too, going so far as to kill and eat a duck that he caught in the garden of the American ambassador to Britain.The beloved eagle was eventually caught, but he proved his meddle as an escapee later the same year when he escaped a second time — this time for only four days.