Busch Gardens’ ‘Pinky’ the dancing flamingo dies after Orlando man attacks, police say
An Orlando man was arrested Tuesday night after injuring a flamingo at an animal park so badly the bird had to be euthanized, according to the park.
Joseph Carrao, 45, was in the Jambo Junction section of the animal theme park Busch Gardens Tampa Bay around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when he reached into a pen, grabbed a Chilean flamingo, and threw the bird to the ground, WFTS reported.
The bird was taken to the park’s Animal Care Center, where “veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries,” according to a statement from the park. Additional details about the bird’s injuries were not included.
Carrao was arrested by Tampa Police shortly after the attack for aggravated cruelty to animals. An arrest report on the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office website, which spelled his last name as Corrao, listed his bail at $2,000.
The park houses more than 250 flamingos, according to its website. The euthanized flamingo, a 19-year-old female called “Pinky,” was known for doing dance routines at the park, WFLA 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 effort,” the park’s statement read. “She will be sorely missed.”