Smithsonian’s National Zoo Farewell Oldest Flamingo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 7, 2022 12:25 pm

Carribean flamingo passing Smithsonian

Betty the flamingo is pictured among her flock at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo prior to her passing on January 25th 2022.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo have announced that “matriach” of their flamingo colony, Betty has passed away aged 67. She was the oldest Caribbean flamingo in North America before her passing on January 25th 2022. She well exceeded the median lifespan of 26 years old.

Animal care staff at the zoo are awaiting a final pathology report to gain more information about her passing.

Betty was hatched in the wild in 1954 and came to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 1976.

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She was known by bird house keepers to be an individual who would stand just outside the perimeter of the flock and keep watch over everyone. She could be recognized from her leg band inscribed with the number 89.

Throughout her life Betty raised only one chick of her own. She contributed to the flock though through fostering chicks from other pairs. At the Smithsonian keepers take the real egg from the pair and replace it with a replica to keep it safe. Once it is ready to hatch it is returned to the nesting grounds and placed with pairs which prove they have the skills to raise the chicks.

Betty also acted as a teacher for hand-reared chicks who struggled to integrate with the flock. She would patiently teach them how to be a flamingo.

Learn more about Flamingoes here – Flamingo Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on their website – Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Carribean flamingo passing Smithsonian

Betty the flamingo could be recognized among her flock at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo due to the number 89 band on her leg

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

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