The pink pigeon, Flamingo, who was spotted in Madison Square Park last week has sadly died.
Rescuers at the Wild Bird Fund, who received Flamingo from a good samaritan and had been caring for him, announced the pigeon’s death on Twitter this morning, Tuesday, February 7.
“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,” the post reads.
According to NBC, Flamingo was found last Tuesday, January 31 in Madison Square Park, ruffling the feathers of wildlife experts.
According to the Wild Bird Fund, the bird, which is a domestic king pigeon, appeared to have been deliberately dyed and then released.
“Pigeons come in many different colors and plumages, but pink isn’t one of them,” stated the group in a Facebook post.
The bird was discovered to be a domestic bird, which aren’t great at surviving in the wild due to being unable to find their own food, fly well, and escape predators. That fact, paired with the bird’s bright color, definitely made it a target for predators in the wild.
Thankfully, the group mentioned that a good samaritan had rescued the pigeon. Carlos Enrique Rodriguez shared a video of the bird Tuesday January 31, on Instagram:
When first found the bird appeared to be “barely more than a fledgling [and showed] signs of longterm malnutrition,” and immediately went in to care.
Unfortunately, according to ABC7, the pigeon had begun “struggling to recover” as of last Thursday, February 2.
According to the news platform, the nonprofit discovered that the pigeon had never flown before and there’s a chance it was purchased from a poultry market.
The organization shared updates on their Twitter account.
The organization had stated, “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.”
Though unfortunately even though the bird was on heat, oxygen and subcutaneous fluids, along with medication to counteract the effects of the toxin on his digestive system, Flamingo has reportedly passed overnight.
It’s not clear why the bird was dyed pink–we’re sure images of wild “gender reveal” announcements have definitely crossed the minds of many–however dyes are extremely dangerous to birds and can be destructive to their feathers.
“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,” stated the Wild Bird Fund.
“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,” stated the Wild Bird Fund.