ZOO staff have vowed to do "everything" they can to find a beloved animal which escaped after a visitor left its enclosure while the bird was still on them.

One of Colchester Zoo's rainbow lorikeets fled its walk-in enclosure on Saturday after a visitor exited the curtained site with the bird.

The member of public was said to have left through the entrance curtains after the bird had landed on them.

Whilst standing in the foyer area, they then asked the keeper to remove the bird but, before the keeper could get to it, it flew off through the doors.

Gazette: Beautiful: rainbow lorikeet at Colchester ZooBeautiful: rainbow lorikeet at Colchester Zoo (Image: Tom Smith)

A spokesman for Colchester Zoo said: “The bird flew into nearby tall trees and when keepers attempted to clear the area and get some ladders to entice the bird down, it flew off towards the back of the zoo.

“Keepers assembled to try and get it to fly back towards the zoo as they could see it, but to no avail.

“The last sighting keepers had was in the trees opposite the zoo nature area on the other side of the Roman River.

“Staff looked for some time with no luck in finding her, assuming the bird flew over towards Birch estate.”

Gazette: Feeding: the birds feeding on some nectarFeeding: the birds feeding on some nectar (Image: Colchester Zoo)

In the hope of enticing the beloved bird back to its flock, zookeepers even moved the birds to their outside enclosure.

A spokesman for Colchester Zoo added: “We put all remaining birds in their outside enclosure so she could hopefully hear their vocalisations and return, and also left a crate and nectar out overnight, but she didn’t come back.

“Staff remain on watch and we will continue to do everything we can to get the lorikeet back safely.”

The unique species of parrot which is found in Australia is well known for its rainbow colours.

Their enclosure at the zoo is a popular attraction, as the zoo allows the public to enter their large aviary and get up close to the bird.

Visitors can pay £1 for a small cup of nectar, which entices the birds to fly and land on people to feed.