The Wild Bird Fund announced the pigeon’s passing on Tuesday.
We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away. Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night. We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins.
?: Alexis Ayala pic.twitter.com/218hh6oN8P
— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) February 7, 2023
Original story, published on Feb. 1:
Animal rights groups (and, well, anyone else with common sense) are appropriately outraged after the discovery of a bright pink pigeon on Monday in Madison Square Park.
Identified as a domestic king pigeon, the bird — said to be in poor condition at the time — was promptly hauled up to the Wild Bird Fund at 565 Columbus Avenue and 87th Street. Due to its species (which is bred for a safe life in captivity or consumption), the assumption is that the pigeon was purchased from a poultry market.
The nonprofit rescue service, New York City’s only wildlife rehabilitation and education center, took to Twitter to share the startling discovery alongside a photo of the little guy (who they’ve now dubbed Flamingo).
Pigeons come in many different colors, but pink isn’t one of them. This king pigeon was deliberately dyed and released. As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed.
?: Phyllis Tseng pic.twitter.com/SnhdIOJsHU
— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) January 31, 2023
Fair enough, right?
While the reason for the unnatural blush tone is technically unconfirmed, the Wild Bird Fund speculates a gender reveal party (when expectant couples find out the sex of their upcoming newborn, often through elaborate measures) was to blame.
Considering this controversial tradition has helped fuel California wildfires, explosions and many other unfortunate situations, this avian incident certainly isn’t a big jump.
“I don’t think we’ve ever really had a pink pigeon come into the clinic, so we were all pretty surprised,” Antonio Sanchez of the Wild Bird Fund told ABC. “We were honestly disgusted that someone would do this.”
Needless to say, they are not alone. Until Flamingo is healthier, the bird will be under care on the Upper West Side — and will then be transferred to a king pigeon sanctuary. In the meantime, maybe people should stick to cutting a blue or pink cake and leaving the wildlife alone. Just a thought.