Pinky The Dancing Flamingo Killed By Guest at Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa is home to thousands of animals. Unfortunately, a park guest from Orlando grabbed Pinky, a well known flamingo at Busch Gardens Tampa, from its habitat and severely beat it, causing fatal injuries. Sadly, The Busch Gardens zoological staff had no choice but to euthanize Pinky due to the injuries.
According to police, 45 year old Joseph Anthony Corrao was observed reaching into the pen, grabbing Pinky, and attacking him. Corrao was arrested on animal cruelty charges and has a bail of $5,000. Below is a news segment ran by ABC News WFTS showing Joseph’s mugshot.
Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, gave a statement:
“SeaWorld will strongly urge prosecution in this case, and for any person who engages in this sort of cruel behavior towards animals. Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family, and she will be sorely missed. Our Ambassador team members are appalled by this incident, and I am sure they share my view that our state must have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of cruelty”.
Pinky was well-known at the park for her dancing, which her keepers said was “not a trained behavior, but a natural behavior she loved to show off.” Dubbed the “Flamingo Flamenco“, Pinky would stomp her feet while turning in a circle. A video of the dance posted to YouTube has nearly 400,000 views.
Pinky, who would have turned 20 next month, started dancing at about age 2. SeaWorld, the owner of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and The Humane Society of the United States strongly condemn the cruel attack and will urge authorities to pursue the case with vigor.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Corrao served time in prison after he was convicted of fatally shooting two of his neighbor’s dogs at point-blank range. Corrao told authorities the dogs killed his daughter’s rabbits.
Busch Gardens released a statement:
“Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts. She will be sorely missed”
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, added:
“People who abuse animals often don’t stop there, and pose a violent risk to the rest of society. That’s why we’ve worked to fortify the legal framework across the country to punish malicious animal cruelty as a serious offense.”
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