Pinky the Flamingo danced her way into the hearts of Floridians and the rest of the nation for years. A beloved creature, Pinky lived at Busch Gardens and was often seen on local television stations where she danced to various tunes. The hearts of many across the nation were heavy-laden when it was discovered that a visitor allegedly manhandled Pinky, threw her to the ground, and nearly severed her leg. Pinky the Flamingo was euthanized, leaving many worldwide to ask why someone would do such a terrible thing. She was 19 years old. You can watch Pinky the Flamingo dance in the video above.
ABC News provided a video news report about the case. Orlando resident Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45 years old, has been arrested and faces charges of animal cruelty.
In the following news report, the reporters commented on Pinky’s personable character and described how she would interact with people at Busch Gardens. Pinky was a Chilean flamingo and served as an animal ambassador for Busch Gardens and often made public appearances outside of the park. Pinky can be seen dancing the Macarena.
The horrific case has brought SeaWorld (SeaWorld owns Busch Gardens) and the Humane Society together to condemn this vicious act. The two released a joint statement not only condemning the cruelty that led to Pinky being euthanized, but also promising the perpetrator would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, stated the following in the release.
“SeaWorld will strongly urge prosecution in this case, and for any person who engages in this sort of cruel behavior towards animals. Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family, and she will be sorely missed. Our Ambassador team members are appalled by this incident, and I am sure they share my view that our state must have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of cruelty.”
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, also released a statement.
“People who abuse animals often don’t stop there, and pose a violent risk to the rest of society. That’s why we’ve worked to fortify the legal framework across the country to punish malicious animal cruelty as a serious offense.”
— Busch Gardens Tampa (@BuschGardens) August 3, 2016
There is no question that Pinky the Flamingo was beloved and cherished by those who knew her at her home at Busch Gardens. In June, Pinky the Flamingo was featured on the official Busch Gardens blog as the featured animal of the month. Here is a passage from the blog that shows how much they cared for Pinky the Flamingo, whom they also called their diva extraordinaire.
“Pinky is a 19-year-old Chilean Flamingo, and, like all flamingos, she loves warm, tropical weather. However, unlike wild flamingos, and even our other flamingo ambassadors, Pinky loves to dance for our guests! Her keepers say that this is not a trained behavior, but a natural behavior she loves 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 performs this toe-tapping behavior out of the water for guests. She loves to get her groove on and enjoys the attention of her adoring fans.”
Pinky the Flamingo was a superstar. In the following video, she and her animal handlers at Busch Gardens visited Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend, where Pinky quickly won over the show’s host. Words of mourning and sympathy have poured in from across the nation, with people expressing their great sorrow at the senseless attack that resulted in Pinky’s death.
[Image via Shutterstock]