New Zealand markets open in 1 hour 54 minutes
  • NZX 50

    -96.21 (-0.82%)

    -0.0013 (-0.21%)

    -5.30 (-0.07%)
  • OIL

    -0.10 (-0.12%)
  • GOLD

    -4.20 (-0.18%)

Animal Rescue Warns 'Never Dye a Bird' After 'Struggling' Pink Pigeon Is Found Wandering N.Y.C.

Pink Pigeon rescued
Pink Pigeon rescued

Phyllis Tseng/Wild Bird Fund

Let flamingos be pink and leave the feathers of other birds alone; that's the message a wildlife rescue is sharing after a shocking discovery.

On Tuesday, the Wild Bird Fund shared a photo on Instagram of a bright pink pigeon that ended up in the nonprofit's care after a "kind person" spotted the ailing animal wandering around New York City's Madison Square Park.

"Pigeons come in many different colors and plumages, but pink isn't one of them. This is a domestic king pigeon who was deliberately dyed this color and released. This poor bird has it bad enough as a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well, or escape predators, but being a bright, unusual color makes him even more of a target," Wild Bird Fund captioned the photo of the oddly-hued bird.


The wildlife rehabilitation group added that the pink pigeon, which Wild Bird Fund has dubbed Flamingo, is young but shows signs of long-term malnutrition. Flamingo's poor condition led the Wild Bird Fund to share two warnings with its followers.

RELATED: Dallas Zoo Announces 'Significant Changes' to Security System After the Recovery of Missing Tamarin Monkeys

"Please never release domestic birds to the wild. Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything," the nonprofit wrote in its post.

Pink Pigeon rescued
Pink Pigeon rescued

Alexis Ayala/Wild Bird Fund

"They will starve or be preyed on, even many of those supposedly trained to return home. If you see an all-white pigeon in the wild, or any tame bird standing around looking lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and bring it to a pigeon rescue or animal sanctuary near you," the Wild Bird Fund added.

The New York-based wildlife rescue, which focuses on caring for wild birds, shared its second warning in a follow-up post about Flamingo.

"Never dye a bird!" Wild Bird Fund wrote in its Instagram update on Feb. 2.

RELATED: 'Crazy-Looking Cat' Prowling Around Missouri Farm for 6 Months Turns Out to Be an African Serval

The nonprofit also shared news about Flamingo's recovery. According to the rescue, the pink pigeon was likely completely submerged in dye before being released.

Wild Bird Fund is working to remove the dye — thought to be human hair dye — but it is a slow process because baths are stressful for Flamingo.

Pink Pigeon rescued
Pink Pigeon rescued

Alexis Ayala/Wild Bird Fund

"One problem is that the dye has a very strong odor, and we're concerned for the bird's respiratory health. Birds are highly sensitive to certain fumes, and this pigeon is essentially living inside a cloud," the rescue wrote about Flamingo's current condition.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"We're also concerned about him ingesting the chemical through preening. He's currently quite weak and is struggling to keep food down," Wild Bird Fund added.

Flamingo is working hard at his recovery and is receiving heat, oxygen, subcutaneous fluids, and medication at Wild Bird Fund's facility.

Those who would like to donate to Flamingo's care can do so at Wild Bird Fund's website. And all animal lovers can help protect birds by never releasing or dyeing birds for a celebration.

"Please celebrate your life events peacefully without harming others," the Wild Bird Fund advised