Flamingo Dead After Busch Gardens Visitor Allegedly Threw Her To The Ground

Pinky the flamingo was 19 years old.

A beloved flamingo at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, had to be euthanized Tuesday after police say a park visitor attacked her.

Pinky, a female Chilean flamingo known for a distinctive style of walking that became known as the “Flamingo Flamenco,” was 19 years old, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Joseph Anthony Corrao was at the park with his family around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when he allegedly reached into Pinky’s pen, grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The zoo had to euthanize her because of her injuries, according to a Busch Gardens statement

“Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts,” the statement read. “She will be sorely missed.”

Witnesses said that before picking up Pinky, Corrao picked up a different flamingo but put it down unharmed, according to local news station WFLA.

An undated photo of Pinky the flamingo.
An undated photo of Pinky the flamingo.

Zoo personnel say they never trained Pinky to perform her circular dance, but that she just started doing it on her own.

“While making an appearance with Jack Hanna, the team noticed that she was dancing on her own to get attention,” Busch Gardens spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka told the Orlando Sentinel. “Since then, she has danced for countless guests, school groups, media appearances and national television shows.”

Corrao was charged with animal cruelty and jailed on $2,000 bond.

At his first court appearance on Wednesday, Judge John Conrad said that the act “borders on depraved,” ABC Action News reports.

“I don’t know if you have other issues, but I don’t know who does that,” Conrad said.