Zenobia is the name of the missing female Northern Bald Ibis (a bird).
I was listening to the BBC news this morning when the “Search for Zenobia” came on. I am not particularly a bird-lover, but I do love nature. And I think birds and animals are an integral part of our wonderful world. So when this bit of news came up, it sort of caught my attention.
This species has been around since almost 2 million years!! But they are now rare with around 500 of them in Morocco and only a total of 4 in Syria.
In Syria, 3 birds are in captivity and protected while the 4th, Zenobia, is missing. Officials at The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, have offered a reward of $1,000 for any information on her whereabouts.
According to them, it is very crucial that she be found because, seemingly, Zenobia is the only bird out of the 4 who knows the winter migration route to Ethiopia. Without her, the other 3 birds cannot be released into the wild which might lead to their extinction despite being protected and cared for.
I have seen videos of animal migration and it is something that I have never ceased to marvel at. It is absolutely one of nature’s most inspiring events. How they find their way back home from wherever they had migrated to is just wonderful. Although, my 10 year old has patiently given me scientific explanations on this process that is according to her text-book, I still like feeling amazed 🙂 .
Coming back to Zenobia, culturally, its interesting to read that the Northern Bald Ibis was believed to be one of the first birds to be released by Noah from his Ark. And this bird was also considered a holy bird and a symbol of brilliance and splendor in Ancient Egypt apart from many other symbolic representations (more info on Wikipedia)
With so much legacy behind this particular species, I sincerely hope they find Zenobia and do all they can to save these birds from extinction!