NYC pigeon dyed pink for suspected gender reveal dies from inhaling dye toxins, rescuers say
A New York City pigeon who was suspected to have been dyed pink for a gender reveal ceremony has died, its rescuers announced Tuesday.
The Wild Bird Fund, a New York wildlife rehabilitation nonprofit, said it believed the bird died by inhaling toxins from the dye.
“Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night,” the group said in its post.
The domestic king pigeon, named Flamingo, was rescued from Madison Square Park in Manhattan last week and taken in by the nonprofit for rehab, Wild Bird Fund said.
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Flamingo was barely older than a fledgling, and malnourished, according to the rescue group. Wild Bird Fund said domestic birds released into the wild do not survive very long. Their bright colors, in this case pink, make them bigger targets for predators.
The organization said in an update last week that it struggled to completely wash the dye out of the bird and expressed concern that its strong odor could seriously damage its respiratory health as pigeons are sensitive to fumes.
Flamingo was “essentially living inside a cloud,” the group said.
Rescuers were also concerned Flamingo would ingest the toxic dye by preening, and said he struggled to keep food down. Despite administering Flamingo subcutaneous fluids and medicine to counteract the dye’s toxic effects, Wild Bird Fund said Tuesday he passed overnight.
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“We hope the tale of his too-short life will help prevent more acts of careless cruelty,” the group said. “Even without the added complication of the toxic dye, he would not have survived in a city park as a white, helpless bird.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pink pigeon rescued in NYC: Flamingo dies from dye, rescuers say