Pinky the Flamingo, an animal ambassador at Busch Gardens, had to be humanely euthanized after she was attacked by a park patron. According to eyewitness accounts, Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, grabbed Pinky from the animal pen at Jambo Junction and threw her violently to the ground, nearly severing her leg.
Pinky was immediately rushed to veterinarians at the park who determined that the injury was so severe that she had to be euthanized. The 19-year-old Chilean Flamingo was known for her signature dance which handlers say she came up with all on her own. Corrao, of Orlando, was detained by Busch Gardens security and arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty. Corrao had recently been released from prison where he was serving a sentence stemming from an incident in which he shot and killed two chained dogs; Corrao allegedly blamed the dogs for killing his daughter's rabbits. Corrao was visiting the park with his mother, brother, and two children. According to Corrao's Facebook page, he was in Tampa to see a Tampa Bay Rays game with his two sons. He wrote: "all u can drink and eat free," and "i will be tepsy tonight." Apparently his Facebook friends told him to "behave himself" and "make a good impression for [his] kids" to which Corrao responded: "I've never been to jail in Tampa."
For more information, see:
Sara DiNatale, Tampa Bay Times, "Orlando man accused of throwing Pinky the flamingo to her death at Busch Gardens," August 3, 2016, http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/busch-gardens-flamingo-dies-after-orlando-man-throws-her-to-the-ground/2287932