A pigeon died pink is thought to be a victim of a gender reveal stunt gone wrong. The New York City Police Department’s animal cruelty unit has opened an inquiry. The New York Times has more.
The New York City Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad said Thursday it was investigating how a white king pigeon, nicknamed Flamingo, ended up dyed completely pink before being found by rescuers. The bird, which was taken to a wildlife rehabilitation organization last week, died earlier this week.
What’s known of Flamingo’s story began last Monday, Jan. 30, when Carlos Rodriguez learned from a Parks Department employee about a bird in need of help in Madison Square Park, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Mr. Rodriguez, an avid animal rescuer who lives nearby, said he was used to getting calls from people alerting him about animals in need.
But the call he received that morning about a pink bird abandoned behind the Shake Shack caught him off guard.
Because of its color, he initially thought the bird was a parrot. When he got closer, he realized it was a king pigeon, a domesticated white bird typically bred for food, that had been dyed pink.
“I was perplexed,” Mr. Rodriguez, 59, said. “As soon as I picked it up, I smelled the fumes coming out of him.”
Mr. Rodriguez rushed the pigeon to the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit rehabilitation and education center on the Upper West Side. That night, the organization posted about Flamingo online, where people — many outraged — speculated that it had likely been dyed for a gender reveal party.
“A single pink pigeon found, it suggests that this was a baby girl coming up,” said Rita McMahon, the organization’s director.
Gender reveal parties have become a divisive tradition and a flash-point of debate in recent years. They have also been deadly. In 2020, a gender reveal plan that involved a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” ignited a wildfire in Los Angeles that burned more than 20,000 acres of land and killed at least one firefighter.
The following year, in New York, a man was killed and his brother was injured when a device they prepared for a gender-reveal party exploded in a garage in the Catskills.
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