PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — “Peaches,” the flamingo that was rescued off St. Pete Beach after Hurricane Idalia has been released back into the wild.
Peaches and other flamingoes washed up in Tampa Bay following the hurricane. Locals and tourists flocked to St. Pete Beach to see the flamboyance, prompting wildlife officials to issue a warning amid reports that people have been harassing the birds. Wildlife experts said you should keep your distance and not touch the flamingoes.
“I think he’s like the second flamingo that’s ever been banded like this, so that we can learn a little bit more about his migration habits,” said Martha Boden, SPCA Tampa Bay CEO.
Peaches now has three new bands with a satellite transmitter to track its movements, life span and other data.
“It was literally the Friday night before Labor Day weekend 4:15/4:30 and I get this text on my phone saying I’m out on the boat and we found a flamingo who swimming away from the beach where we do.”
Boden said her center took in peaches that night, the bird was then transferred to the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary where it was rehabbed back to health.
“In a situation like this where we’ve got a bird in distress, it was fantastic to see the whole community come together and get them safe, get him over to Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, and the care that he needs and then get them released.”
As peaches looks for a new flamboyance in the wild, it’s attracted an audience.
“It’s very unusual to see flamingos on a beach is so people are pretty excited about it,” said Boden. “They are beautiful birds, but please keep your distance. Take your pictures from A good ways away. Don’t try to touch them.”
If you see a flamingo or any bird in distress or someone harassing the birds, you can call the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary or the SPCA Tampa Bay.