Tags: worlds | oldest | flamingo | dies | greater | 83

World's Oldest Flamingo Dies at Age 83 at Australia Zoo

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 05:07 PM

By Ken Mandel

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The world's oldest flamingo, named Greater, who was born during the Great Depression and lived through World War II, was put to rest at Adelaide Zoo in Australia on Thursday at age 83.

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The flamingo's health had deteriorated over the past year because of arthritis and old age. The bird is survived by its longtime friend, a Chilean flamingo named Chilly, who is in his 60s.

"Although this is an extremely sad loss for us all, it was the right thing to do," Zoos South Australia CEO Elaine Bensted said in a news release. "There was no additional medical treatment that would have improved Greater's quality of life. We always knew our time with this beautiful Adelaide icon was nearing its end. We're lucky to have called Greater a member of our zoo family for so long. Greater's long life is a true testament to the stellar care provided over the years.

"Greater will be sorely missed by our zoo family, and no doubt the wider South Australian community."

Flamingos have a 25-year lifespan in the wild, but can live much longer in captivity.

Greater is the last greater flamingo to have resided in Australia.

Named for its species, Greater came to the zoo in 1933. The flamingo, characterized by pale plumage and pink bills, survived a bad beating by teenagers in 2008.

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