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Roadrunner returns to Las Vegas desert after hitching ride to Maine

A bird from Las Vegas that hitched a ride across the country this month is back in sunny Southern Nevada.

The greater roadrunner, a species native to Southwestern states, hitched a ride in the storage area of the van from Las Vegas to Westbrook, Maine. It was returned to the valley and released in northwest Las Vegas on Tuesday, in the same spot where it jumped onto the moving van, Department of Wildlife spokesman Douglas Nielsen said.

“He was very alert and ready to go when he landed,” Nielsen said, adding that the roadrunner was given a clean bill of health in Maine.

A video captured the bird sprinting away from its cage when it was released.

After getting a call on Nov. 13 from a father and son who had rented the van to move from Las Vegas to Maine, volunteers from Avian Haven, a bird rehabilitation facility in Maine, were able to net the bird and get it to the facility.

“It’s kind of exciting to be netting a roadrunner in Westbrook, Maine,” volunteer Karen Silverman told the Portland Press Herald. “It’s always an honor and pleasure for me to be part of an organization that helps birds out. This poor displaced bird definitely needed help and protection.”

According to a Facebook post from Avian Haven, the bird was in “remarkably good shape” for having been stuck in a van for four days but might have lost weight during the journey.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.