Orlando Man Charged in Death of Pinky the Flamingo
Pinky, famed for her dancing, was an animal ambassador at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
TAMPA – An Orlando man was accused of throwing Pinky the flamingo to the ground causing injuries that required her to be euthanized, according to the Tampa Police Department.
Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, of 12840 Parkbury Drive in Orlando, was charged with felony animal cruelty.
Police said Corrao was visiting Busch Gardens with his family, including his mother, his brother, and three teenage children. While in the Jambo Junction animal viewing area about 6:44 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 2), Corrao reached into an animal pen and picked up a flamingo and then set it down uninjured. He then picked up Pinky. Witnesses and his mother told him to leave the flamingos alone.
Witnesses told police Corrao then threw Pinky to the ground, causing serious injury to the flamingo whose foot was nearly severed. Pinky had to be euthanized because of the severity of its
Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, owner of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, said on the site’s Facebook page: ““Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family, and she will be sorely missed. Our ambassador team members are appalled by this incident, and I am sure they share my view that our state must have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of cruelty.”
SeaWorld and the Humane Society of the U.S. issued this statement on the SeaWorld Cares website condemning the attack on Pinky:
“SeaWorld, the owner of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and the Humane Society of the United States strongly condemn the cruel attack on a flamingo named Pinky at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL, and will urge authorities to pursue the case with vigor. An Orlando man was arrested for picking up and throwing Pinky to the ground, and the flamingo was so badly injured that she had to be euthanized. … Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.”
The statement quotes Hanby as saying, “SeaWorld will strongly urge prosecution in this case, and for any person who engages in this sort of cruel behavior towards animals.”
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS, was also quoted in the statement: “People who abuse animals often don’t stop there, and pose a violent risk to the rest of society. That’s why we’ve worked to fortify the legal framework across the country to punish malicious animal cruelty as a serious offense.”
For information about the Tampa police, go to tampagov.net.
Photo of Pinky courtesy of Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
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