A tragic update to the horrifying case of animal cruelty from last week: The pigeon known as Flamingo, who was reported to have been dyed pink for a gender reveal event, has unfortunately passed away.
Wild Bird Fund wrote on Twitter: “We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away. Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night. We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins.”
We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away. Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night. We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins.— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) February 7, 2023
📷: Alexis Ayala pic.twitter.com/218hh6oN8P
A kind-hearted individual discovered a domestic king pigeon, named Flamingo, in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in a distressed condition. The bird was then taken to the Wild Bird Fund, a non-profit organization.
The bird was fully coated in artificial hair dye, which had turned it a bright shade of pink. The exact motivations and perpetrators behind this act remain unknown, but it is widely believed that Flamingo was dyed pink as part of a gender reveal event.
Antonio Sanchez of the Wild Bird Fund told ABC 7 New York: “I don’t think we’ve ever really had a pink pigeon come into the clinic, so we were all pretty surprised. We were honestly disgusted that someone would do this.”
It is also thought that Flamingo was acquired from a poultry market. It was not suitable to be released into the wild as it lacked the necessary skills and adaptations to survive outside of captivity.
the group wrote on Twitter: “As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed.”
Pigeons come in many different colors, but pink isn’t one of them. This king pigeon was deliberately dyed and released. As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed.— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) January 31, 2023
📷: Phyllis Tseng pic.twitter.com/SnhdIOJsHU
The Wild Bird Fund made all efforts to provide the best possible care for Flamingo, but expressed worries regarding its well-being. Despite their efforts, they were unable to remove the pink dye, which was leading to respiratory difficulties due to the toxic fumes.
The group explained: “One problem is that the dye has a strong odor, and we’re concerned for the bird’s respiratory health. Birds are very sensitive to certain fumes, and this one is essentially living inside a cloud. We’re also concerned about him ingesting the chemical through preening. His condition is weak, and he’s struggling to keep food down.”
Unfortunately, despite the care and attention provided by the Wild Bird Fund, Flamingo was unable to recover and passed away a few days later.
Update: After giving our pink guest time to stabilize, our team tried several methods to remove the dye, which we believe is hair dye, with limited success. One problem is that the dye has a strong odor, and we’re concerned for the bird’s respiratory health.— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) February 2, 2023
📷: Alexis Ayala pic.twitter.com/JaBclYgioz
It is obvious that dyeing a bird, such as Flamingo, pink for a trivial reason like a gender reveal is unacceptable. The harmful chemicals in the artificial dye caused health problems that the pigeon could not overcome.
The Wild Bird Fund also hopes that Flamingo’s story will serve as a reminder to the public not to release domestic birds into the wild. These birds, like Flamingo, are not adapted to survive on their own and would have faced certain death, even without the added stress of being dyed pink.
Flamingo’s story has captured the hearts of many, and though he passed away in such a senseless and heart-wrenching manner, it is hoped that the attention his story received will have a lasting impact and make the world a safer place for birds like him.