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World's oldest flamingo dies at Adelaide Zoo


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The world’s oldest flamingo has died at Adelaide Zoo.

At the ripe old age of 83, the greater flamingo was put down on Friday morning after the bird’s quality of life had significantly deteriorated due to complications associated with old age.

Known as Greater, the flamingo – whose sex is unknown – arrived at the zoo in 1933 but records are not clear whether it came from Cairo or Hamburg Zoo.

“Greater is best known for being the world’s oldest flamingo and the last greater flamingo to have resided in Australia,” chief executive Elaine Bensted said.

“When Greater’s physical health started to deteriorate last year, our veterinary team began a course of anti-inflammatory pain medication to ensure Greater’s comfort.

“Greater responded well to treatment and remarkably survived the cold winter.”

But the flamingo took a turn for the worse this week when it was decided to humanely put it to sleep.

“Although this is an extremely sad loss for us all, it was the right thing to do,” Ms Bensted said, adding there was no more treatment that would have improved Greater’s life.

A memorial to Greater, who was almost blind, may be erected near the heritage listed flamingo pond.

Greater is survived by Chilly, a chilean flamingo, who is now Australia’s only remaining flamingo.

The zoo will monitor how the death affects Chilly.

In October 2008, several youths attacked Greater but the flamingo beat the odds to make a full recovery.

Currently, there is a moratorium on the importation of flamingos into Australia.


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