Our Chilean Flamingos Just Might Surprise You
Nestled at the very heart of the Calgary Zoo, these pink beauties might seem dainty, but don’t let their slender bodies and fancy feathers fool you. Flamingos are tough cookies. They can stand on one leg for hours and, in the wild, withstand extreme conditions – including stifling summers and frigid winter temperatures that dip to -30 C.
Ask zoo visitors about their favourite animals and elephants, giraffes and gorillas are almost guaranteed to come out ahead of flamingos, piranhas and anteaters. But Dr. Malu Celli, curator at the zoo, thinks that these and several other incredible South American species get the short end of the stick when it comes to visitor attention. [Please note that the South America building had to be demolished after the June 2013 flood and most of its animals were relocated to other accredited Canadian zoos.]
If flamingos don’t eat pink food, their feathers turn white. At the zoo, special diet supplements keep the birds’ feathers vibrant.
At a Glance
2.3 kg (5 lb.)
105 cm (41 in.)
Near salt lakes, coastal mudflats and marshes
Algae and small aquatic animals