Flamingo known as Pink Floyd spotted in Texas 17 years after escaping from Kansas zoo

Flamingo escaped from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita in 2005

Pink Floyd in 2019

WICHITA, Kan. – One of two flamingos that escaped from a Kansas zoo during a storm 17 years ago has been spotted on the coast of Texas, wildlife officials said.

The Coastal Fisheries division of Texas Parks and Wildlife confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press that the African flamingo was captured on video shot March 10 by an environmental activist near Port Lavaca, Texas, at Rhodes Point in Cox Bay. Officials were able to make out the bird’s leg band on the video.

Looks like Pink Floyd has returned from the 'dark side of moon'! Spotted at Rhodes Point in Cox Bay near Port Lavaca by David Foreman on March 10. Pink Floyd is a local Texas flamingo that escaped a Kansas zoo in 2005 and has been seen on the Texas coast for several years.

Posted by Coastal Fisheries - Texas Parks and Wildlife on Friday, March 25, 2022

The flamingo has been nicknamed Pink Floyd but is officially known as No. 492 because of the number on its leg band.

The bird and another flamingo escaped from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita on a stormy night in June 2005. Employees had not yet clipped the birds’ wings to prevent them from flying, which facilitated their escape.

While the other flamingo was never seen again, No. 492 has been spotted several times in Wisconsin, Louisiana and Texas, sometimes with other wild flamingos. Officials said it had been a year or two since the bird was last seen in Texas.

Zoo officials have never made plans to recapture No. 492, despite the sightings, saying there is no easy way to do so without disturbing other wildlife.

The escaped flamingos, known for their distinctive pink feathers and long legs and necks, were born in Africa then shipped to the Kansas zoo in 2004 with 39 other flamingos.

More Animal Headlines:


About the Authors:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.