Scientists think they have spotted the only black flamingo in the world

There has only ever been one other sighting of a black flamingo in the wild

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The Independent Online

An extremely rare black flamingo, thought to be only one in the world, has been filmed on the island of Cyprus.

The footage was captured on Wednesday and shows the black flamingo surrounded by more conventionally coloured birds feeding on the banks of Aktoriri salt lake on the island that lies in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The bird is almost entirely black except for a tuft of white feathers on its rear and was spotted by environmentalists during an annual count of the island's flamingos. The bird’s distinctive colour is thought to be the result of a genetic condition that causes it to generate more pigment melanin than usual, turning it dark rather than its usual pink colour.

Only one other black flamingo has ever been spotted in the wild before and that was in Israel in 2014.

Experts now say that this flamingo could be that bird, leading them to believe that this is the only black flamingo in the world.

Pantelis Charilaou, head of the environmental department of the British Sovereign Bases, said: “A melanistic individual is a very, very rare sighting ... basically its the opposite of an albino when the individual produces more melanin than normal.”

“From what have seen on the Internet, there was only one other sighting in Israel, so maybe this is the second one.”