Last week, my bestie shared a story about a flamingo named Pink Floyd who has been on the run for almost 17 years.
Now that I have your attention, let me clarify a point. By “on the run,” I don’t mean that Pink Floyd has been running from the law. Well, at least I don’t think the flamingo is wanted by the law.
Here’s what I do know. According to a CNN story, on a stormy 4th of July in 2005, two flamingoes “went rogue” and flew away from Kansas’ Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita. The birds had been brought there from their native Tanzania, Africa, in 2003, along with 38 other flamingoes.
On July 2, 2005, when zookeepers went to clip the flock’s feathers, a process that’s described in the story as “completely painless” and similar to a human getting a haircut, Pink Floyd and others made a run for it. Or would that be a fly for it?
All but two of the birds returned to the zoo. Those two hung out in a grassy marsh until the aforementioned storm hit on Independence Day. Then, one flew north (it was later spotted in Minnesota) and the other, Pink Floyd, headed to Texas.
Pink Floyd, who was known as No. 492 in confinement, is obviously a rebel. He and No. 347, the flamingo who headed north, apparently did not want their wings clipped or, in other words, their hair cut. Perhaps they’re hippies at heart. Or hobos. Or both.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife bestowed the nickname Pink Floyd to the bird formerly know as No. 492. Its yellow name band is no longer visible so they’re making an assumption that they pink flamingo they’ve spotted for several consecutive springs is Pink Floyd. It’s an educated assumption. After all, flamingoes aren’t native to North America, so there aren’t exactly a lot of flamingoes hanging out on one leg in Texas.
Although the one who went north has only been seen once, I like to think it’s lying low and traveling the country. You might be saying to yourself, “Self, she’s delusional. If that-there flamingo was still alive, someone would have reported it by now.”
How do we know it hasn’t been reported?
I guess I need to remind you that a couple years ago folks in Tennessee reported seeing a tiger, which turned out to be a bobcat. And that I mistook a crane for a pelican.
Somebody somewhere could have spied that flamingo and mistook it for an ostrich or a swan or a stork. For all we know, that flamingo could be flying around, delivering babies.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.