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A flamingo that flew away from a Kansas zoo nearly 17 years ago and has been on the run ever since was glimpsed in Texas earlier this month.
A video posted by the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shows the bird, named Pink Floyd, on March 10 wading into Cox Bay near Port Lavaca, about 120 miles southwest of Houston.
“Looks like Pink Floyd has returned from the ‘dark side of [the] moon’!” the agency joked.
Pink Floyd, also known as no. 492, fled from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan., in 2005, according to the New York Times.
When he and other flamingoes arrived at the zoo from Tanzania a few years earlier, staffers decided it would be unethical to amputate part of the birds’ wings to prevent them from flying since they were already adults, the newspaper reported.
Instead, the zoo clipped the flamingos’ feathers, what one staff member described as similar to getting a haircut. But in 2005, staff missed signs that their feathers needed to be clipped again, and nos. 492 and 347 flew the coop.
Pink Floyd has been spotted along the Texas coast for several years, officials said. There have been other reported sightings of the bird in Arkansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin, according to the BBC.
Pink Floyd is believed to be about 27 years old, and experts estimate that flamingos can live until about age 30 in the wild, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Flamingos were long considered an invasive species in the U.S., though there is some question about whether the bright pink birds are actually native to South Florida.
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