‘Pinky’ the flamingo dies after attack by man at Busch Gardens

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —  An Orlando man has been arrested for picking up, and throwing a flamingo named “Pinky” to the ground at Busch Gardens Tampa on Tuesday.

Joseph Anthony Carrao, 45, was at Busch Gardens Tampa with his family around 6:45 p.m. when the incident occurred. Tampa Police say Carrao was in Busch Gardens’ Jambo Junction Animal Viewing Area when he reached into an animal pen and picked up the Chilean flamingo. Police say he was witnessed by other patrons throwing the flamingo to the ground.

Due to the excessive force, “Pinky” the flamingo needed to be euthanized.

“Pinky” was 19-years-old. She was quite the attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa, doing dance routines,

Busch Gardens released the following statement:

Yesterday evening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, an adult male guest attacked one of our animal ambassadors, a Chilean flamingo known as Pinky, causing traumatic injuries.

Pinky was immediately transported to the park’s Animal Care Center where veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries.

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.


Carrao was detained by Busch Gardens’ Security.

He was arrested by Tampa Police and charged with felony animal cruelty.

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