3 November 2008

78 Year Old Flamingo Bashed in Australian Zoo

A BLIND flamingo believed to be one of the oldest in the world is in a critical condition after being bashed at Adelaide Zoo.

Four teenagers have been charged after visitors reported an incident to zoo staff that has left the unnamed male greater flamingo, aged about 78, "extremely stressed".
Zoo staff said it appeared to have been beaten.

It was taken to the zoo's animal hospital, where it remained under the close watch of keepers in a critical condition last night. The zoo has reported that the bird is responding well to care and it is hoped he will pull through. However, concerns regarding its failure to eat are serious. The Zoo is contemplating force feeding the Bird with a tube.

The animal, which arrived at zoo in the 1930s, shares its enclosure with a Chilean flamingo that arrived in the 1940s.

"It's the first night it's spent alone since arriving at the zoo and keepers are very worried about how it will cope," she said.

"Because it had lived its entire life at the zoo, it wasn't afraid of the public," she said.

Police have arrested and charged four teenagers, aged between 17 and 19, with the aggravated ill-treatment of an animal.

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