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Flamingo euthanized after being attacked by man at Busch Gardens Tampa

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 09:54:14-04

TAMPA, Fla. – A 45-year-old Florida man was arrested Tuesday on animal cruelty charges after an incident at Busch Gardens Tampa.

'Pinky' the flamingo | Busch Gardens

‘Pinky’ the flamingo | Busch Gardens

According to a police report from the Tampa Police Department, Joseph Anthony Carrao was at the park with his family around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday evening.

While in the park’s Jambo Junction Animal Viewing Area, Carrao reportedly reached into an animal pen and grabbed a 19-year-old Chilean flamingo known as ‘Pinky.’

Patrons reported seeing Carrao then throw the flamingo to the ground, causing it traumatic injuries.

In a statement, Busch Gardens said they immediately transported Pinky to the park’s Animal Care Center where veterinarians decided to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries.

Carrao was detained by park security before being arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Joseph Anthony Carrao

Joseph Anthony Carrao

Busch Gardens says, “Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts. She will be sorely missed.”

“Yesterday evening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, an adult male guest attacked one of our animal ambassadors, a Chilean flamingo known as Pinky, causing traumatic injuries.

Pinky was immediately transported to the park’s Animal Care Center where veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries.

Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts. She will be sorely missed.”