Oldest known flamingo in captivity dies


Greater, the oldest known flamingo.

Greater, the oldest known flamingo.

A flamingo bird considered to be the oldest in captivity has died at Australia’s Adelaide Zoo.

Named “Greater” after his species, the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), the bird’s exact age is not known, though thought to be at least 80 years old in January 2014, since  he was already a mature adult when he arrived in Adelaide in 1933.

But due to complication of old age and with no more medical treatment that could have improved the bird’s quality of life, he was humanely put to sleep to end his sad state.

While flamingos can live for decades in captivity, they only have a lifespan of about 25 years in the wild. No bird in the wild would live so long, due to predators and lack of medical attention.

The Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is instantly recognizable by its long, thin neck and legs, colorful plumage and distinctive downward-bending black tip beak.

Shrimplike crustaceans are responsible for the flamingo’s pink color. The birds pale in captivity unless their diet is supplemented.

Greater is said to be survived by long-term friend Chilly — a Chilean flamingo — who is in his 60s and will be monitored to see how he reacts to the death.


4 comments on “Oldest known flamingo in captivity dies

  1. gpcox says:

    What a shame, such a beautiful animal.

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