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Last of the Original Animals at Riverbanks Dies

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2014

Zoo Saddened by the Death of Beloved Caribbean Flamingo

[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is sad to announce that the last remaining member of the Zoo’s original animal collection — a Caribbean flamingo — has died.

The beloved bird was one of ten flamingos that arrived at the Zoo in September of 1973 prior to the park’s opening on April 25, 1974. She was always a productive member of our flock having hatched her last chick in 2009.

"It’s always hard to lose a member of our animal collection, especially one that has been with us since day one,” said Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "We know that this flamingo was at least 45 years old at the time of her death which largely exceeds the average age of flamingo species.”

While there is currently no data for the Median Life Expectancy (MLE) of Caribbean flamingos, this bird surpassed the MLE for the Chilean flamingo by more than 17 years.

The news of the flamingo’s death came as Riverbanks is preparing for its 40th anniversary on Friday, April 25.