The caretaker of the nearly-extinct northern bald ibises was forced to flee after Islamic State took over Palmyra.
The rare northern bald ibis could soon be extinct as a result of the Islamic State takeover of the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, according to a report by the BBC on Monday. Three extremely rare ibises were kept in captivity in the central-Syrian city. Their condition has been unknown since the caretakers were forced to flee the town after Islamic State militants stormed the city on May 20.
A search is also underway for an important fourth, female bird, named Zenobia. The Society for the Protection of Animals in Lebanon said that she is the only one of the birds to know the ibises's winter migration route to Ethiopia. A $1,000 reward is being offered for anyone with leads on the Zenobia's location. They say that without her, the birds kept in captivity would not be able to be released.