Tags: flamingo | busch gardens | pinky | joseph anthony corrao

Flamingo at Busch Gardens Euthanized After Man Injures It

Image: Flamingo at Busch Gardens Euthanized After Man Injures It

A flamingo stands on one leg at the Opel-Zoo in Kronberg near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on January 21, 2016. (Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, 04 Aug 2016 05:59 AM

"Pinky," a dancing flamingo at Busch Gardens, was euthanized by veterinarians after a man snatched her from a viewing area and reportedly pitched her to the ground.

According to a police report, 45-year-old Joseph Anthony Corrao of Orlando was visiting the theme park with his family on Tuesday when he reached into a pen in the Jambo Junction area, picked up the flamingo and threw her down, The Associated Press reported.

Police Spokesman Stephen Hegarty said Corrao handled the bird "violently."

Corrao was detained by the park's security and arrested by Tampa police on a charge of felony animal cruelty after witnesses said they saw him throw the flamingo. Busch Gardens said the bird suffered injuries so "traumatic" that she could not be saved.

"A very sad and hard day for us here," said a park spokeswoman, Karen Varga-Sinka.

Pinky, 19, was a Chilean flamingo, hatched at the park in 1996. Her dancing movements made her one of the park's stars.

"Pinky loved to dance for our guests," said Varga-Sinka. "Her keepers say that this is not a trained behavior, but a natural behavior she loved to show off. Flamingos are filter feeders, using their beaks to strain tasty morsels out of the water around them as they wade. To stir up the tastiest treats, flamingos will stamp their webbed feet. Pinky often performed this toe-tapping behavior out of the water for guests."

Pinky also appeared on behalf of the park's conservation and education efforts as an "ambassador animal."

"She will be sorely missed," said Varga-Sinka.

The park has 20 flamingoes, a mix of Chilean and Caribbean.

Corrao was released from jail early Wednesday on a $2,000 bond. Records did not list an attorney for him.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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"Pinky," a dancing flamingo at Busch Gardens, was euthanized by veterinarians after a man snatched her from a viewing area and reportedly pitched her to the ground.
flamingo, busch gardens, pinky, joseph anthony corrao
287
2016-59-04
Thursday, 04 Aug 2016 05:59 AM
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