Pink pigeon allegedly dyed for gender reveal party has died, US officials say

Charity says death of bird named Flamingo in Manhattan likely ‘caused by inhaling the toxins’ from pink dye

A pigeon that was allegedly dyed pink as part of a gender reveal ceremony has died, a bird charity said.

The pigeon, named Flamingo, had captured hearts in recent days after it was rescued in New York City.

Flamingo, who was believed to be less than a year old, was found wandering through Madison Square Park, in Manhattan, last week. His plight prompted anger at the person or people who had dyed him pink and have not yet been identified.

The Wild Bird Fund took Flamingo into care and announced the king pigeon’s death Tuesday.

“We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away,” the Wild Bird Fund said on Twitter.

“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.”

The Wild Bird Fund previously told WABC that the bird may have been dyed pink, not a natural colour for a pigeon, to take part in an elaborate gender reveal – ceremonies by which couples learn or reveal the gender of their expected baby.

The pigeon was suffering from long-term malnutrition, the Wild Bird Fund said. The group named the pigeon Flamingo, a nod to the brightly coloured wading birds found in wet habitats in the Caribbean, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

“Flamingo’s story sparked a lot of emotion and generated interest from around the world,” the Wild Bird Fund said. “We hope the tale of his too-short life will help prevent more acts of careless cruelty.”

People grew concerned about Flamingo’s fate on Thursday when the Wild Bird Fund said the team had been unable to remove the pink dye.

“One problem is that the dye has a very strong odor, and we’re concerned for the bird’s respiratory health,” the group said in an Instagram post at the time. “Birds are highly sensitive to certain fumes, and this pigeon is essentially living inside a cloud.”

Flamingo’s treatment included heat, oxygen and subcutaneous fluids, and medication to counteract the toxin’s effects, the Wild Bird Fund said. But he struggled to eat and digest food.

“This king pigeon, a domestic bird likely raised for food, was malnourished, barely older than a baby and had no survival skills,” said the Wild Bird Fund’s announcement of Flamingo’s death.

“Dove releases sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road. This is no way to celebrate anything.”


Adam Gabbatt in New York

The GuardianTramp

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