The Flamingo Lagoon is Open!

The Flamingo Lagoon is open! The Chilean flamingo flock’s vibrant pink feathers now welcome guests as they enter the Zoo.

“The new habitat is absolutely beautiful, and exemplifies the ‘Bigger Spaces, Smiling Faces’ theme of the Zoo’s Master Plan,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoo’s President & CEO.

This project is part of Phase 1 of the Zoo’s ongoing 10-year Master Plan. The newly renovated space offers the flock a 50 percent increase in their total landmass and walkable water space. The new habitat features many modern comforts to help the flock thrive, including misters, a separate feeding pool, a night house, and an advanced water filtration system.

As part of the move, the Zoo’s vet team performed a health exam on every flamingo in the flock, checking their weight, drawing blood, providing vaccinations, and giving each bird a physical examination. The flock is doing well in the new habitat. To help them settle in, viewing may be partially blocked from guests while the birds explore their new home.

Reid Park Zoo co-leads the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Andean Highlands Flamingo Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program. This program supports research and conservation efforts to protect the three species of flamingo (Chilean, James’s and Andean) that live in the salt flats at elevations of up to 14,000 feet in the Andes mountains.

“Programs like Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE aim to first educate people about the focal species’ natural history and ranges. As people begin to learn more about our flamingos we want to share the identified threats facing the wild birds from the SAFE program and what we can all do to help save flamingos from extinction,” said Dr. Sue Tygielski, Director of Zoo Operations.

With the help of the Chilean National Zoo, Andean Highland Flamingo SAFE is monitoring South American flamingos to create a better understanding of wetland use, migration patterns, and breeding cycles of the species.

One of the biggest threats to flamingos is habitat destruction caused from the mining of lithium, which is used in batteries of electronic devices. You can learn more about flamingos and steps you can take to help protect them on our blog or by visiting the new Flamingo Lagoon.