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Pigeon found in New York City dies after being dyed pink

‘Please never release a domestic bird to the wild. It will die of starvation or predation,’ rescue group tells public

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 08 February 2023 20:39 GMT
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A pigeon found in New York City has died after being dyed pink.

It may have been intentionally dyed and released, a rescue group suggested before the bird’s passing.

A passerby spotted the bird in Madison Square Park in Manhattan. The domestic king pigeon was taken to a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and education centre called the Wild Bird Fund, located on the Upper West Side, according to ABC7.

The fund said the pigeon hadn’t flown previously and may have been bought at a poultry market. As it was unable to find food, fly properly, or escape preying animals, the fund said it couldn’t remain in the wild.

Its colour also made it more of a target. The fund said they think the bird was dyed on purpose, possibly for a baby’s gender reveal or as part of an experiment.

A pink pigeon may have been dyed and released, a rescue group has alleged (Wild Bird Fund)

“Pigeons come in many different colors, but pink isn’t one of them. This king pigeon was deliberately dyed and released. As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed,” the fund tweeted after it was found. “He’s also barely more than a fledgling but shows signs of longterm malnutrition. Luckily a kind person rescued him in Madison Square Park, and he’s now safely in care.”

“Please never release a domestic bird to the wild. It will die of starvation or predation. If you find an all-white pigeon (or any odd color), especially one looking scared and lost, it needs help. Please catch it and contact us or a pigeon rescue org near you,” they added.

The fund added that the gender reveal theory is “growing in popularity”.

“WTF is wrong with people? My guess is someone did it for a kid’s bday party or gender reveal. Sickening,” one Twitter user said.

The bird, named Flamingo, died about a week after it was found, The Wild Bird Fund said on Tuesday.

“We don’t know why this bird was dyed pink, although many of our followers have speculated that it was for a gender reveal party,” social media director Catherine Quayle told NPR.

“We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins” from what’s thought to have been hair dye, the group said.

“‘Dove releases’ sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road,” the fund added. “This is no way to celebrate anything.”

“King pigeons are naturally all-white, although we occasionally receive one with a small amount of dye or paint. This situation was a first,” Ms Quayle told NPR.

“We have been overwhelmed by messages of concern and goodwill for this poor bird,” she added.

“As sad as we are that Flamingo did not get the chance to live a full life in a sanctuary or home, we’re heartened that his story has reached so many around the world,” she said. “We hope fewer birds will suffer from careless cruelty as a result.”

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