Annual Flamingo Round-up

By Tonja Swank, Public Relations Coordinator

Every year on a cold January morning the flamingos at the Sacramento Zoo receive an annual exam. A lot of preparation goes into making sure that each of the 40 flamingos are safely gathered together and then examined one by one.

Keepers, Zoo Veterinarians and veterinary students from UC Davis meet early in the morning, next to Lake Victoria, to begin the round-up.

First the flamingos are gathered together through a carefully orchestrated operation that involves corralling the flamingos into a holding pen, while putting the least amount of stress possible on the birds.

Then each individual bird is identified so that it can be weighed and its personal medical records can be reviewed.
Next they are thoroughly examined, inoculated against West Nile Virus and have blood work done.
After a receiving a clean bill of health each flamingo is carefully released back into the water.

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