Sequoia, the female bald eagle from the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, who went missing after she "wandered off" during a flight demonstration was found unharmed at Rancho San Antonio Preserve on Friday, zoo executive John Aikin said.
A female hiker, who wants to remain anonymous Aikin said, found Sequoia at Rancho San Antonio Preserve at 9:30 a.m.
"The hiker called the Junior Museum & Zoo and we connected by cellphone. She texted me a picture of Sequoia sitting in a field of grass, and I said, 'OK, how do I get to you?' and she guided me in by cell because I had to hike in," Aikin said.
The hiker waited with the 27-year, 10-month-old bald eagle until Aikin could locate the two.
"As soon as I got up there she said (Sequoia) just flew away two minutes ago, but I found her soaring over a canyon near by, so I ... blew my whistle and she saw me and she came right to me," Aikin said.
Sequoia, who is back at the zoo, was not injured, but "very hungry," Aikin said.
"She lost about 300 grams, but other than that she's doing fine. She doesn't have a feather out of place," he said.
Aikin said he is thankful to the hiker who found Sequoia and to everyone who helped with locating her.
"We got more than two dozen people calling in about bald eagle sightings," he said. "We got some very concrete leads and they were very helpful."
Sequoia, who was found shot in the wild when she was 4 months old and has a paralyzed tail, has spent almost her entire life meeting people and helping the zoo teach about bald eagles, Aikin said.
She went missing after she flew off during a flight demonstration in Byxbee Park in Palo Alto on Monday.
"She actually wanders off with a little bit more frequency," Aikin said. "We generally get her back within that day, sometimes the next day and sometimes three days later, but when we lose track of her signal that's when we worry."
Zoo officials weren't able to pick up a signal from Sequoia's miniature radio transmitter that was attached to her tail during the demonstration for more than 24 hours.
"We were able to keep track of her through Tuesday and lost signal Tuesday afternoon," Aikin said.
Sequoia was last seen heading west from Interstate 280 and Page Mill Road to Portola Valley.
"We got a number of calls because of the press attention yesterday from people as far away as Sausalito to south San Jose that they saw a bald eagle. We're following up on the best leads," he said.
Two volunteers with radio receivers were searching for Sequoia, and the Palo Alto Airport Association president had offered to do flyovers to locate her, Aikin said.