Pink pigeon found in Manhattan struggling to recover, 'limited success' attempting to remove dye

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Thursday, February 2, 2023
Pink pigeon found in Manhattan struggling to recover
A pink pigeon found in Madison Square Park in Manhattan, NYC, is struggling to recover at Wild Bird Fund on the UWS.

MANHATTAN (WABC) -- A pink pigeon found in Madison Square Park in Manhattan, NYC, is struggling to recover at Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side.

A rescue group believes a pink pigeon discovered in Manhattan was deliberately dyed and released.

A good Samaritan saw the animal on Monday 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, which they named Flamingo, has never flown before and was possibly purchased at a poultry market.

"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," the organization reported on Twitter.

"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.

We've got him on heat, oxygen and subcutaneous fluids, and we've added medication to counteract the effects of the toxin on his digestive system. Bathing is very stressful on a bird, especially one already weak, so we have to balance intervention with stability," the group said.

The Wild Bird Fund said the pigeon could not survive in the wild because it can't find food, fly well or escape predators. And being a bright, unusual color makes it even more of a target.

"She shouldn't be on the streets, she has no survival skills, she relies on people for everything," said Antonio Sanchez with Wild Bird Fund.

"I don't think we've ever really had a pink pigeon come into the clinic, so we were all pretty surprised," Sanchez said. "We were honestly disgusted that someone would do this."

They offered the following advice on social media, warning New Yorkers to not put other birds at the same risk:

"PSA: Please never release domestic birds to the wild. Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything. (We'd hope that "don't dye them" goes without saying, but...) They will starve or be preyed on. If you see an all-white pigeon in the wild, or any tame bird standing around looking lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and bring it to a pigeon rescue or animal sanctuary near you."

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