Pink Pigeon Dies in New York City From Exposure to Toxic Dye

To reiterate: do not dye birds random colors. Just don't.

Pink pigeon
Hail and farewell, pink pigeon.
Alexis Ayala/Wild Bird Fund

Last week brought alarming news from New York City: the Wild Bird Fund was currently treating a pigeon that was in bad shape after being dyed pink. “Who would dye a pigeon pink?” you might ask yourself — which is good because that’s a completely normal thing to think. The rationale that led someone to do such a thing has yet to be determined, although the prevailing theory — that it was the result of a gender reveal party — seems all too plausible.

And now, like several confirmed gender reveal parties, this presumed one has led to heartbreak. The pigeon, who’s been dubbed “Flamingo,” has died. The Guardian has more details on the bird’s death, which the Wild Bird Fund believes has to do with inhaling toxic fumes from the pink dye.

In a post on Instagram, the Wild Bird Fund further explained everything that went wrong for this bird besides the fatal dye. “This king pigeon, a domestic bird likely raised for food, was malnourished, barely older than a baby and had no survival skills when he was released and left to fend for himself,” the organization wrote. “Even without the added complication of the toxic dye, he would not have survived in a city park as a white, helpless bird.”

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The organization also addressed the idea of dyeing and then releasing birds — in this case, explaining that it’s a terrible idea. “‘Dove releases’ sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road,” they wrote. “This is no way to celebrate anything.”

I’d go even further than this and say that this is, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of torturing a small animal. You wouldn’t slowly torture a mouse or rat to celebrate an upcoming birth, after all. The same thinking should apply here.

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