Famous Flamingo Dead After Busch Gardens Visitor Attacks Birds

Image courtesy of Jeremy Thompson

A longtime animal resident of Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL died yesterday. Pinky the flamingo was 19 years old, and if you noticed her while visiting the theme park, it was because she would sometimes perform her own special dance, stomping her webbed feet and spinning in a circle. The tourist attacked two flamingoes, injuring Pinky badly enough that she was euthanized.

The entertainment value of this dance is hard to get across by just explaining it, so here’s a video that a tourist took of Pinky and posted to YouTube:

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the bird was never trained to dance: she started doing the “flamingo flamenco” on her own one day, and kept doing it when it gained her attention.

The suspect, a 45-year-old man visiting the theme park with his family, grabbed one flamingo, put it down, and then grabbed Pinky, throwing her back down with such force that one of her feet was almost severed.

According to a statement by the park, her injuries were so severe that the animal care team made the decision to euthanize her. The suspect was arrested for animal cruelty.
‘Pinky’ the dancing flamingo dies at Busch Gardens; Orlando man charged in attack [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando man accused of throwing Pinky the flamingo to her death at Busch Gardens [Tampa Bay Times] (Warning: auto-play video)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.