Busch Gardens' Flamingo Dies After Alleged Attack by Park Visitor

45-year-old man accused of flinging Pinky to the ground in Tampa
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2016 12:37 PM CDT
Busch Gardens' Flamingo Dies After Alleged Attack by Park Visitor
RIP, Pinky.   (YouTube/Busch Gardens)

Sad news for fans of Pinky the flamingo, one of Busch Gardens Tampa's "animal ambassadors," per a park statement. The 19-year-old bird, who performed dance routines at the park and loved to "get her groove on," per the park's blog, was euthanized Tuesday evening after witnesses say an Orlando man reached into the Chilean flamingo's pen and flung her to the ground, WFLA reports. Pinky was whisked to the onsite Animal Care Center, where vets decided her injuries were too severe and euthanized her. Arrested in the incident was 45-year-old Joseph Anthony Carrao, who was said to be visiting the park with his family. Park security detained him until local police arrived, per WFTV.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Carrao posted Monday on Facebook that he'd be attending a Tampa Bay Rays game with "all u can drink and eat free … i will be tepsy tonight." When friends responded by warning him to be on his best behavior for his kids' sake, he wrote, "I've never been to jail in Tampa." It's not the first brush with the law for Carrao, who was charged with felony animal cruelty in this incident: The Orlando Sentinel reports that he got out of prison last year after two separate stints, for charges that included willfully fleeing and eluding law enforcement, a felony DUI, and aggravated assault of a person 65 years or older, per the Florida Department of Corrections. (A happier flamingo story out of Cyprus.)

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