'Justice for Pinky the Flamingo' petition asking for harsher animal cruelty penalties in Florida

Posted at 12:37 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 13:33:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. - A Care2 petition is circulating online, demanding harsher animal cruelty penalties in the state of Florida after an Orlando man fatally injured "Pinky," a 19-year-old Chilean flamingo at Busch Gardens in Tampa by reportedly picking her up out of her enclosure and throwing her to the ground.

As of Wednesday morning, the "Justice for Pinky the flamingo - raise penalties on animal abuse laws" petition has gathered over 87,000 supporters.

The petition is trying to get the attention of Governor Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio and the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office to raise the penalties on animal cruelty and abuse.


On Tuesday, August 2, Joseph Corrao, 45, was detained by Busch Gardens' security following the alleged attack. He is facing a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Corrao was visiting the park with family – including his mother and three teenage children – when he reached into an animal pen in the Jambo Junction area, police said.

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He picked up one flamingo and put it down without injuring it, police said. He then picked up a second flamingo and threw it to the ground with enough force to nearly sever its foot.

Busch Gardens confirmed that the flamingo, named Pinky, suffered traumatic injuries. According to the park, Pinky was immediately taken to the park's Animal Care Center where veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her because of the severity of her injuries.

"Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park's conservation and education efforts," the park said. "She will be sorely missed."