Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 12 Apr 2011 21:40
The Marching Flamingos
If you go onto YouTube and type in 'Marching Flamingos' or 'World Famous Marching Flamingos' and watch the various video clips - it does just look like a man in uniform running around after a small flock of flamingos. However it is the nearest we have got to these most amazing coloured birds. Yes of course we clapped to order. The birds had to march one way, then the other and to the command "step it up" had to run faster. The zoo worker on the microphone told us the age ranges of the birds was from eight month to forty three years old. Perhaps the younger ones were the ones not knowing right from left and doing a bit of packing as they went. We were told that they have total protection as they were hunted almost to extinction for their meat and they live much longer in captivity than in the wild. Their usual lifespan is twenty to thirty but in captivity up to fifty years.
Now my thrill of the day came when audience members were invited in to the arena, taught to stand like a flamingo - to attract their attention - and see who came over for a closer look. Bear lifted his gouty ankle and he did well. A couple of other humans did a poor job by comparison. I was given time to take pictures and was chuffed to bits.
A bit more marching and exit stage right
We followed them, knowing it was safe to get really close, some went straight for a paddle...........
.........one nestled to catch some zeds, clearly exhausted
Some went to forage, quite a sight on dry land
We went back to check on our mate and you could almost hear the snoring
ALL IN ALL SUCH PINK FEATHERS AND BEAR SUCH A SUCCESS WITH THE BIRDS.........
CHEEKY - ANOTHER NEW EXPERIENCE - POSING FOR FLAMINGOS..........