Flamingo Sighting in San Francisco Bay

An escaped flamingo is living at ease in SF Bay.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Jul 29, 2013  |  Updated 12:54 PM PDT
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Bad Boys Flipping the Bird

Ken Bohn

Flamingos are seen in this file image. A real flamingo has been spotted in San Francisco Bay near Sunnyvale.

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It's a bird. It's pink. It's a flamingo -- and this exotic bird is now a San Francisco Bay local.

An actual, real-life flamingo is living in San Francisco Bay near the Sunnyvale sewage treatment plant, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which notes that this pink-winged creature is "not made of plastic."

Flamingos are native to tropical areas "thousands of miles from San Francisco Bay," the newspaper reported, which makes this bird's origins a mystery.

The bird is not seen with any of the evidence, such as clipped wings or a tag on a foot, that suggest a zoo animal -- and all the local zoos report all flamingoes accounted for.

That means this flamingo is likely an escaped pet, a renegade from an exotic private animal collection, the newspaper surmised.

Another flamingo sighting occurred last year, near Hayward. Bird-watchers believe it is the same flamingo spotted off of the Sunnyvale shoreline, the newspaper reported.

The flamingo is believed to be a lesser flamingo, which means it's about three feet tall when standing up. It's likely living off of brine shrimp, which is prevalent in the bay, the newspaper reported.

Officials from the Oakland Zoo would like to capture it to bring it to live with the other feathered fowl, the newspaper reported. But in the meantime, "it seem[s] perfectly happy" in the bay, according to Linden Rayton, a naturalist with the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center.

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