AUSTRALIA’S last Flamingo, ‘Chile’, has died at the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia.
Zoos SA, which runs Adelaide Zoo, announced Saturday morning that Chile the Chilean Flamingo was humanely put to sleep on Friday, after her quality of life deteriorated due to age-related health issues.
The Chilean Flamingo was one of the Zoo’s oldest, most-iconic residents.
Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said that in recent months Chile had been struggling to cope with the effects of arthritis and other complications associated with her advanced age.
“Aged in her late 60s, Chile was one of the oldest known flamingos in captivity,” Ms Bensted said.
“Last week, Chile’s health took a turn for the worse and our veterinary team began a course of medication to try and improve her condition and ensure her comfort.
“In the end, her health continued to deteriorate and our veterinary team decided there was no additional medical treatment that would have improved Chile’s quality of life.
“The decision was made to humanely put Chile to sleep and although this is an extremely sad loss for us all, it was the right thing to do.
“With more than 2500 animals calling Adelaide Zoo home and a number of aged animals like Chile who have well and truly exceeded their life expectancy, the death of aged animals is unfortunately to be expected.”
Adelaide Zoo Curator of Conservation and Native Fauna Dr Phil Ainsley said Chile held a special place in the hearts of all South Australians, zoo staff and supporters.
“We were extremely lucky to have called Chile a member of our Adelaide Zoo family for so long. Her long-life is a true testament to the stellar care provided by our dedicated zoo staff over the years,” Phil said.
“Chile will be sorely missed by our zoo family, and no doubt the wider South Australian and Australian community, who travelled from near and far to visit our iconic friend.”
There is currently a moratorium on the importation of flamingos to Australia and at this time it is not known when Adelaide Zoo could expect to house flamingos once more.
The Chilean Flamingo is found in most parts of South America, inhabiting tropical and warm climates. It’s estimated there are around 300,000 individuals remaining in the wild.