Coastal Fisheries - Texas Parks and Wildlife / Facebook
The Coastal Fisheries Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife released a statement on March 25 saying a flamingo that escaped from a Kansas zoo during a storm 17 years ago has been spotted again in Texas flying around the beaches.
Wildlife officials say that the bird is an African flamingo with a leg band confirming that it’s the same flamingo known as No. 492 that escaped from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita on a stormy night in June 2005.
“Looks like Pink Floyd has returned from the ‘dark side of moon!'” the agency jokingly wrote on Facebook, referring to the flamingo’s nickname.
The flamingo was born in Africa then shipped to the Kansas zoo in 2004 along with 39 other flamingos.
The Sedgwick County Zoo said before the bird escaped, they did not have time to clip its wings to prevent it from flying off, which was what assisted the bird in escaping.
After No. 492 escaped, it was spotted several times in Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Texas, but it’s been four years since it was spotted.
In 2018, Texas Parks & Wildlife also posted on Facebook the last reported image of the flamingo captured on camera until now.
Video footage filmed on March 10 by an environmental activist near Port Lavaca, Texas, at Rhodes Point in Cox Bay showed the animal enjoying itself while hunting along the coastal shoreline.
Wildlife authorities said despite the sightings, they do not have plans to recapture No. 492 because there is no easy way to remove the animal without disturbing other wildlife.
They did say though that the flamingo was 25 years old and around 4 to 5 feet tall, adding that the species are known to live up to 50 years in the wild. So as long as No. 492 can keep surviving, it appears it has many years ahead of it.