Loss of a Member of the Flock

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of one of our Chilean flamingo chicks. Our eldest chick of three hatched July 16, 2018 and died August 16. 2018. In his first couple of weeks, he enjoyed snuggling up with his keeper in the mornings and parents during the day, then quickly grew independent and curious in the following weeks. He’ll be remembered fondly by visitors and staff as an independently sassy flamingo. We recall the proud little chirp he gave when he first mastered the balancing act of standing on one leg, and the spirited nature that shone through when he’d play chase with the ducks. 

Although the baby flamingo chick was in his parent’s care for the majority of the time, our keepers were very involved, watching each new flamingo family for hours in the heat of the day and bringing the flock inside for their safety at dusk. We recognized the first signs of concern Wednesday, August 15th when the eldest chick didn’t quite seem his typical curious self. We take any change in behavior very seriously, so we immediately contacted our veterinarian technicians to evaluate him and took him to our Avian Board Certified Veterinarian that same day. Our sweet flamingo chick received an exam, an ultrasound, and blood work. The test results showed some minor irregularities and weight loss, causing our veterinarian concern about a potential underlying infection. The chick was treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic and keeper staff provided supportive care with heat and sub-q fluids. Despite these efforts, and a very late night with the chick, he passed away peacefully overnight. Our medical team will perform a necropsy, and we will share the results with you as they come. The flamingo chick will remain one of the family in our hearts. We hope you remember him and his playful personality when you visit with our two happy and healthy baby Chilean flamingos at the Aviary.

Chilean flamingos are listed as near threatened by the IUCN and are vulnerable to habitat change and exploitation, such as unregulated egg collection and hunting. According to a 2010 census, approximately 300,000 individual Chilean flamingos survive in the wild. 

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