Photos via @landonnordeman, @gillianhearst and @joemichaelc

Following in the footsteps of the Bronx Zoo Cobra and Peahen, a peacock escaped from the Central Park Zoo this afternoon. He's since been spotted on windowsills on the Upper East Side, in what is perhaps a brazen bid to join high society.

"A male peafowl or peacock has wandered from the Central Park Zoo. The peacock poses no danger to anyone. To ensure a good outcome in this situation, we ask everyone not to follow or harass the bird if they see him. We are hopeful he will either fly back to the zoo or we will retrieve him nearby," zoo officials told us in a statement. We're awaiting more information to determine exactly how the peacock escaped from the zoo.

Twitter has been aflutter with the news: passerby near 5th Avenue and 86th Street snapped photos of the escaped bird on a ledge, and naturally the peacock already has its own Twitter, @BirdOnTheTown.


UPDATE as of 5:50 p.m. Oh dear, the start of an online peacock war is brewing: @CentralParkPeacock is claiming that he's the "real" bird to follow, as ridiculous as that is.

The New York Times reports that as of about 5 p.m., the peacock was still perched on a building at 838 Fifth Ave. "We are working to resolve this situation and ask the public and representatives of the media to refrain from doing anything that would encourage the bird to move before it is ready to do so," said a zoo official. "Home is a short flight across the avenue and we think our peacock will make his way across soon.”