AUSTIN – There’s something about flamingos that tickles one Austin resident pink.
Last week, Peggy Garrison, who is in her final stage of cancer and under hospice care, received a surprise visitor from the San Antonio Zoo —a flamingo named Mango.
For 50 years, Garrison has been an avid collector of flamingo-themed items, from artifacts to decorations for her hot pink Christmas tree. She is the proud owner of 158 flamingo items.
One thing about flamingos that started Garrison’s love of the bird was their flight.
“When I saw them fly, I just thought they were so beautiful,” Garrison said in San Antonio Zoo’s press release.
The visit allowed Garrison to smile again, which she hadn’t done much of for a while, according to her daughter Amy Doezema.
“We really hadn’t seen her smile or talk much in the past days,” Doezema said. “I’m so happy that the zoo was able to do this for Peggy. Her love language has always been giving gifts to others. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. It feels terrific to be able to give something back to her.”
As a memento of the visit, the zoo sent an Adopt-An-Animal plush of Mango, which makes this the 159th flamingo in Garrison’s collection.