'Flamingo' the pink pigeon found in Manhattan dies

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Pink pigeon found in Manhattan dies
The Wild Bird Fund said the bird died from inhaling the toxins of dye.

MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Flamingo, the pink pigeon that made headlines for its brightly colored feathers, has died.

The Wild Bird Fund said Tuesday that he died from inhaling the toxins of dye.

The rescue group believes the pink pigeon discovered in Manhattan was deliberately dyed and released.

A good Samaritan saw the animal on Monday, January 30 in Madison Square park after noticing the bright-colored bird walking around.

The king pigeon, which is a domestic bird, was brought to the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and education center on the Upper West Side, in poor condition.

The nonprofit said the pigeon had never flown before and was possibly purchased at a poultry market.

Despite their best efforts, Flamigo died overnight.

The Wild Bird Fund released a statement on their Facebook page saying, "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.

"Thank you to everyone for the expressions of goodwill and the many helpful suggestions. Flamingo's story sparked a lot of emotion and generated interest from around the world. We hope the tale of his too-short life will help prevent more acts of careless cruelty.

"This king pigeon, a domestic bird likely raised for food, was malnourished, barely older than a baby and had no survival skills when he was released and left to fend for himself. Even without the added complication of the toxic dye, he would not have survived in a city park as a white, helpless bird.

"Domestic birds - birds raised in captivity - should never be released to the wild. They will die of starvation or predation. Based on the hundreds of comments we've received, we know YOU know this, but please try to discourage others from releasing domestic birds for any reason.

"'Dove releases' sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road. This is no way to celebrate anything."

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