Why Don’t Flamingos At Zoos Fly Away?

I love flamingoes their beautiful colors, silent behavior and patterns attract me a lot. As a child, the only place where I can see them was the zoo.

I used to feed them and try to play with them by making noises and seeing their reactions, one thing that surprised me was they were there in the open and even did not try to fly away.

Reasons Why Don’t Flamingos At Zoos Fly Away?

Clipped Feathers

The feathers of flamingoes are clipped in many zoos to prevent them from flying and escaping. Feathers are essential for the bird to have a flight, clipping one or two feathers makes it extremely difficult for the bird to fly.

The feathers often frown back after performing the process of clipping in five to six months. In most cases, clipping is repeated when the feathers grow up again.

The procedure is legal in most countries, it is advised to perform clipping under the supervision of a vet.

Clipped wings

Another thing that helps in preventing flamingoes from flying away and escaping is the clipped wings. This procedure is a severe one and causes a lot of pain to the bird.

In this process, the wing bone of the bird is surgically removed, the bird becomes unable to fly again in the future. This is a one-time procedure and gives a sense of security as the bird in any condition can not escape.

As the process involves surgical removal of the bone, there are many dangers related to it and can cause a great deal of harm to the bird. The process should be executed by a professional bird surgeon.

The method of clipping wings is considered quite good if executed by a professional as the bird will not experience the shock after every 5 or 6 months as in the case of clipped feathers. 

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Enclosing the bird in a Net  

Another method that keeps flamingoes in the zoo captivity and does not allow them to fly away is to enclose them under a big net box or a netted compartment.

 The bird can not fly away from it and remains under it, food and other supplies are provided by zoo officials to the bird. 

The practice of netting is usually practiced in large zoos having a greater number of birds as it is a costly process.

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Why are flamingoes at the front of most zoos?

  • Flamingoes are kept at the front cause they attract a large audience with their bright colors and exotic designs and textures.
  • They are silent birds as compared to other birds and do not require extensive care, so keeping them at the front makes it easier to increase the aesthetics of many zoos without much work required.
  • Can be spotted from a distance, enabling more people to spot them and enter the zoo.
  • Do not cause any disturbances to the traffic or the surrounding areas around the zoo.
  • Generally, flamingoes do not panic on seeing a large audience or people around them. It becomes easier for zoo facilities to control things where the entrance always has a crowd.

What is the lifespan of flamingoes in the zoo?

Flamingoes can live up to 45 to 50 years in zoos, as compared to an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years of age in the wild. 

This clearly indicates that zoos and other animal farms provide a better survival opportunity to these birds as compared to the testing conditions in the wild.

Related Read: Where Do Flamingos Live? | Flamingo’s Habitat And Ecosystem

Is the food in the zoo good for flamingoes?

Yes, the food in the zoos is very good for the flamingoes. These birds eat whatever they can find in the wild and often get deprived of basic nutrition, as there is constant competition for surviving and thriving in the wild.

The food in the zoos is mostly pallets and it is rich in all the essential micro and macronutrients required for the birds’ better health.

Apart from this the palette also provides the right amounts of Beta Carotene essential for the flamingoes’ bright red, pink or orange colors. This makes the bird attractive and beautiful.

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Flamingoes are bright-colored exotic birds, they are a sight of attraction in many zoos and animal parks all around the world.

Children and adults alike love to catch sight of these birds and feeding them is one of the popular activities in many zoos.

They live happily and longer lives in zoos and simple practices like clipping and netting can prevent them from escaping from captivity.

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