© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

A wild fox killed 25 flamingos at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

A wild fox killed 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck, announced the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
A wild fox killed 25 American flamingos and one Northern pintail duck, announced the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

A wild fox broke into the Smithsonian's National Zoo outdoor flamingo habitat overnight, killing 25 American flamingos and one northern pintail duck, the zoo announced.

Three other flamingos were injured and are currently being treated at the zoo's veterinary hospital. The flock originally included 74 flamingos.

Staff arrived at the outdoor flamingo habitat early Monday morning to find the dead birds. The staff said they sighted the fox, but it escaped.

"This is a heartbreaking loss for us and everyone who cares about our animals," said Brandie Smith, director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. "The barrier we used passed inspection and is used by other accredited zoos across the country. Our focus now is on the well-being of the remaining flock and fortifying our habitats."

The outdoor exhibit is regularly checked multiple times a day by staff. During the last check on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. everything was fine, according to the zoo.

But after the incident, zoo staff found a new softball-sized hole in the metal mesh surrounding the yard. The mesh has since been reinforced, live traps were set around the outdoor yard, and digital camera traps with infrared sensors were set up to prevent future attacks.

The remaining flamingos have been moved indoors to their barn and the ducks to a covered, secure outdoor space.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content