Veterinarians at Busch Gardens were left with no choice but to euthanize Pinky, the popular 19-year-old flamingo, after Joseph Corrao, grabbed and slammed her to the ground.
The incident stemmed from when the 45-year-old Corrao visited the park with his mother and two teenagers Tuesday. Corrao allegedly has been grabbing animals inside the park when his mother told him to leave the animals alone. But instead of heeding his mom’s orders, he proceeded to grab Pinky and threw the animal to the ground, the Herald Tribune reported.
According to the report, Corrao threw Pinky so hard he almost severed the flamingo’s limb. Despite the efforts of the in-house veterinarians to revive Pinky, the team decided to “humanely” euthanize the animal.
Pinky is a Chilean flamingo who became popular with her natural dancing skills. Park attendants said Pinky’s dancing skills were innate and not trained. Flamingos are known for their graceful dance-like moves, which is the main inspiration of the popular dance flamenco.
Judge John Conrad, who sentenced Carrao of animal cruelty and a $5,000 bond, was outraged by the suspect’s aggression against the animal. It was reported that Corrao has already served three years in jail for aggravated assault on a person after attacking a senior, DUI, and resisting arrest.
Meanwhile, administration of the Buschs Gardens was saddened that it had no other choice but to euthanize Pinky.
Pinky became the park’s animal ambassador for the past few years, and people from all over the country travel to Tampa Bay area to see the dancing flamingo, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts. She will be sorely missed,” the park’s spokesperson said in the statement, as quoted by the Orlando Sentinel.