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Full Recovery for Flamingo One Year On

Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:30pm


The partly blind flamingo, believed to be among the oldest in the world, now stands back in his favourite spot with his ‘friends’ (two sculpture flamingos), still unafraid of humans.

When the docile bird was attacked on October 29 last year, news reports literally travelled across the world and sparked public outrage.

Professor Chris West, CEO Zoos SA said, “We are delighted that ‘Greater’ has made a full recovery. He’s a favourite in the zoo family and we hope that he soldiers on for many years to come.”

‘Greater’ and his companion of more than 50 years, a Chilean flamingo, are incredibly precious and important ambassador species for birds around the world.

Adelaide Zoo has the last two remaining flamingos in the country, with no plans by Australian zoos to import more.

Bird keeper Vaughan Wilson said that when the critically injured bird was found in its exhibit this time last year, ‘Greater’ was in shock and unable to stand.

Concussed and having difficulty breathing, ‘Greater’ was bleeding from around his beak and eyes, and had a depression fracture in his skull.

‘Greater’ was immediately treated by vets at Adelaide Zoo’s animal health centre, who created a sling to support his weight and monitored him throughout the night.

An outpouring of public support overwhelmed Adelaide Zoo, with many people visiting the recovering flamingo and offering well wishes through heartfelt cards and letters. Animal adoptions for Greater also increased fivefold.

‘Greater’ responded well to treatment, and now a year on, the gentle creature has settled back into his usual daily routine.

‘Greater’ arrived at Adelaide Zoo in the 1930s, and is thought to be approximately 80-years-old.


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