A female flamingo who escaped from the San Antonio Zoo in 2000 has been spotted 17 years later. The bird was found dead at a nearby golf course, but it’s good to know that she didn’t die alone or without hope of escape.

A flamingo was spotted in Texas 17 years after it escaped from a zoo. The flamingo had been missing for 17 years, and the people who found it were shocked to see it alive and well.

No. 492 was one of 40 flamingos transported from Tanzania, Africa, to Kansas’ Sedgwick County Zoo in 2003. According to Jennica King and Anne Heitman, the zoo’s director of strategic communications and curator of birds, respectively, No. 492 came when it was 2 or 3 years old.

On July 2, a couple of years later, zookeepers went to trim the flamingos’ feathers, a “totally painless” procedure akin to receiving a haircut, according to Heitman. A “huge blast of wind blew up” during the operation, and many birds that hadn’t yet had their feathers cut were able to fly away, according to King.

During a cycle known as molting, birds replace their feathers anywhere from twice a year to once or twice a year, and keepers clip the new feathers after they’re through growing, according to Heitman. Feather clipping is a frequent and temporary kind of flight limitation employed by zoos as well as those who have pet birds and do not want them to fly to their full capacity.

The majority of the birds circled the zoo before returning. Two, however, did not: No. 492 and its buddy, No. 347. They wound up approximately 100 or 200 yards away from the zoo, in a grassy, swampy flood drainage region. The two flamingos stayed for a few days, dodging and fleeing from zookeepers who tried desperately to get close enough to catch them.

A severe rainstorm struck on July 4, propelling the two determined flamingos on their path to their final destination. No. 347 headed north and was seen once in Minnesota before disappearing, according to King.

But the South is where No. 492 has seemed to find its home, as it has been spotted every year for the past five years on the Gulf Coast of Texas, said Julie Hagan, social media specialist for the coastal fisheries division of Texas Parks & Wildlife. The department has nicknamed No. 492 “Pink Floyd.”

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Pink Floyd’s recognizable yellow band with “492” written on it isn’t apparent in the footage Foreman supplied with the Texas department, according to Hagan. However, since Pink Floyd has been the only flamingo sighted by the department or fishermen for many springs, they’re convinced that the flamingo seen Monday is No. 492, despite the fact that flamingos aren’t native to North America.

Pink Floyd’s species of flamingo, known as “greater flamingos,” lives on salt lakes in Northern Africa, therefore the Gulf Coast’s saline water and moderate temperature are ideal for him, according to King and Heitman.

And, according to King, “there’s enough of stuff for him to eat there.” Greater flamingos are filter feeders, sifting microscopic plants and animals out of the water, including tiny plankton and algae, as well as brine shrimp. Flamingos get their pink color from brine shrimp.

“We suspect he wanders about and follows food sources, which is why No. 492 has only been seen a few times,” Heitman added. “(Flamingos) follow them about as food supplies ebb and flow. As a result, he’s most likely going to other areas where he won’t be seen. However, he should be able to obtain the nutrients he needs down there.”

‘His greatest danger is people.’

The Sedgwick County Zoo has taken to heart the proverb, “If you love it, let it go.” “We were really delighted to hear that it was OK after it flew away and was located in Texas,” King added. “We’re still happy that he’s doing well every few of years when we hear about it being seen.”

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“Once he flew down to Texas, we determined very early on that we would not make any attempts that may possibly hurt him or the fauna surrounding him,” King continued. “His existence down there has no negative impact on the ecology, and he isn’t a bother. Flamingos are quite peaceful birds.”

Wild flamingos may live up to 40 years, whereas flamingos in captivity can live considerably longer. The Sedgwick County Zoo’s oldest flamingo lived to be 60 years old.

Pink Floyd, who is just approximately 20 years old, has a long career ahead of him, according to King. Aside from any possible extreme storms, “basically the only risks to him down there would be humans,” she noted, if somebody tried to go too near, kidnap him, or damage him in any way.

You may gaze and snap photographs of Pink Floyd if you encounter them, but stay your distance, according to King and Heitman.

“We don’t want him to feel intimidated and end up killing himself or, more likely, someone else,” King continued.

The “flamingo 347” is a bird that was spotted 17 years later in Texas. It was the first time that this bird had been seen in North America since it escaped from captivity in 1995.

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