The very-ill and very-pink pigeon rescued in a New York City park last week has died, according to the non-profit group that tried to rehabilitate the troubled bird.
“We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away,” Wild Bird Fund said Monday. “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 domestic king pigeon was found in Madison Square Park last Thursday by a good Samaritan and experts at Wild Bird Fund took over and tried to remove the dye and bring the malnourished, young bird back to health.
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
The organization thanked everyone for their outpouring of support and suggestions. It had previously theorized the bird’s unnatural colour could have been created for a gender reveal party, where expecting parents throw elaborate events to find out whether they are having a boy or a girl, or some kind of other bird release event.
“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,” the group said.
“This king pigeon, a domestic bird likely raised for food, was malnourished, barely older than a baby and had no survival skills,” it explained. “Even without the added complication of the toxic dye, he would not have survived in a city park as a white, helpless bird.”
It also used the sad event as a teachable moment.
“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,” officials said.
“‘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,” Wild Bird Fund added.
Rest in peace, sweet bird.— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) February 7, 2023