Walk like a Flamingo



(Pittsburgh) (July 2014)—Flashes of color and loud squawking greet visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as our family of flamingos hits the pathway.

Zoo keepers walk the flamingos on the pathway between the rhino and lion exhibits every Thursday. It is a great form of enrichment for the birds and for our visitors.

Keeper Kathy Suthard enters the flamingo yard and the birds instantly know why she is there. They  line up single file as she gently coaxes them through the gate. “The first time we brought them out, they were curious but hesitant,” says Ms. Suthard. “But now, they are ready and waiting for me.”

The birds are as interested in our visitors as the visitors are in the flamingos. Kathy and her staff know which flamingos are comfortable posing for photos and they steer them toward the crowd. “We have noticed that some people are so excited and can’t wait to get their photos taken with the flamingo and we see others holding back a little because the birds get loud sometimes and have a tendency to invade personal space by pulling on shoe laces and socks.”

Flamingo walks take place every Thursday at 11:30 a.m.  Join in on the fun.  Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield generously sponsored the flamingo solarium through a $25,000 grant so the flamingos are visible year round.