The flamingo is easily identified by the number on its leg band; the bird was last sighted in May 2019 until its current Texas sighting.
An African flamingo that had been missing from a Kansas zoo for 17 years was recently discovered in the wild in Texas.
According to the Associated Press, the pink bird is one of two flamingos who fled from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, during a storm in 2005.
Because the bird was a rookie to the Sedgwick County Zoo, blood tests to establish the bird’s sex had not yet been performed.
The runaway flamingo was discovered in surveillance footage dated March 10 around Rhodes Point in Cox Bay, Texas, according to the Coastal Fisheries Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The flamingo is easily identified by the number No. 492 on its leg band.
When the two flamingos escaped in 2005, their wings were not clipped, making it simpler for both birds to depart the zoo, according to AP.
While there have been no documented sightings of flamingos other than No. 492, No. 492 has been sighted in Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Texas in the years since their escape, according to the Associated Press.
The last time flamingo No. 492 was observed before March 10 was in May 2019 during Memorial Day weekend.
“Spotted once again by Coastal Fisheries staff and volunteers during the Texas Colonial Waterbird Survey, this escaped zoo flamingo has chosen to spend Memorial Day weekend on the Texas coast,” Coastal Fisheries – Texas Parks and Wildlife wrote on Facebook at the time, alongside a photo of No. 492 struggling to blend in with other birds.
Both fugitive flamingos were brought to the zoo from Africa in 2004, along with around 40 other flamingos, according to AP.
A Sedgwick County Zoo administrator claimed in 2007 that capturing the bird without disturbing other species is challenging.
“There isn’t an easy method to get the bird back. It would only upset wildlife where it has been discovered and may cause more harm to the bird than simply leaving him alone “According to the Associated Press, Christan Baumer, a zoo spokesperson at the time, stated in 2007.