HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following is a press release from the Hattiesburg Zoo.
Hattiesburg Zoo officially welcomed eight new flamingos during an event Thursday which is the Zoo’s first addition to the colony in the last two years. A handful of special guests were invited to attend, also receiving a keepsake.
Special guests for the event included donors who raised funds during the last two years to replace previously lost flamingos. Funds raised in 2015 and 2016 by Moselle Elementary School’s Junior Beta Club, Petal Primary School’s PTO, and the Krewe of Zeus (lead by Dr. John Nelson and his daughter Chloe) allowed the Zoo to acquire the new flamingos and bring the colony total to twenty-three.
Though many donated to replace two Chilean Flamingos that passed away from a prank gone awry in October 2014, these donors raised several thousand dollars each supporting the Zoo’s effort to acquire new flamingos. Their generosity has allowed the Zoo to move the flock beyond the minimum number of 20 that is required to initiate breeding.
“Because of these donors, the Zoo is able to expand its flamingo flock now with these new birds and perhaps, some more chicks in the future. We are especially thankful to this group of Zoo friends we honored today, who went above and beyond to help raise funds to grow our flamingo family,” Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention and Tourism Commissions, said.
This new flamboyance of flamingos came to the Zoo from SeaWorld Orlando and contains five females and three males.
“The animal care staff was overjoyed with the outpouring of support after the October incident, which resulted in the Zoo losing two flamingos. We are excited to have these new birds and hope they will breed in the future,” Stephen Taylor, animal care manager for Hattiesburg Zoo, said.
These flamingos will join the others in their habitat beginning Jan. 13 when the Zoo opens at 10 a.m. Admission is $5, children under two are free.