New Flamingos, Part 3: Quarantine & Going on Exhibit!

By Zoo Keepers Amanda, Christine & Leslie

Have you ever wondered how zoo animals were transported? Read along to hear of the keepers adventures as they prepared the transportation vehicle, picked up 10 flamingos, and introduced them to their new home. Read "New Flamingos, Part 1: Transportation" and "New Flamingos, Part 2: Picking up the Birds!" to find out where we started.

Part 3: Quarantine & Going on Exhibit!
All the birds did very well on the drive which was great! Offloading the birds into quarantine was the next step. Two keepers entered the back of the van through our shade cloth “door” and as each bird was caught, they were handed one at a time to our vet staff. Every bird was weighed and basic condition checked as well as bands and other identifiers. The group then entered our quarantine area in our hospital to start their 30-day stay. Every animal that comes into the zoo must go through a quarantine period where we do fecal testing and a physical exam during this time to make sure they are healthy and pose no health threat to our resident flock.

Fourteen Animal Care staff as well as Veterinary staff convened in quarantine for the final leg of the new flamingos to our exhibit. As each bird was caught, the birds were weighed, quick once-over, identifiers checked and off to lake they went. One bird per keeper plus an extra keeper tagged along for the walk (in case someone needed help). It’s not that the birds weigh very much (only 6 – 11 lbs) but they can bite (pinch really) if you don’t loosely hold the neck and be very wiggly as they kick and protest about being held.

Once at the lake exhibit, the group was let go on the lawn area inside the exhibit and off they went! It wasn’t long before the San Diego birds were integrated with our resident flamingos.

Thanks for joining us in the journey of 10 flamingos from San Diego!
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