St. Petersburg Flamingos Still Safe in Bathroom

Flamingos from the Sunken Gardens are safe after Hurricane Ian passed through.

Credit: Unsplash

Flamingos from the Sunken Gardens are safe after Hurricane Ian passed through.

Over the last several days, Hurricane Ian passed through southwest and central Florida, causing extensive damage and flooding. Numerous businesses and attractions in the tourism-dependent areas have been flooded or otherwise damaged, one of which being the Sunken Gardens botanical garden in St. Petersburg. As the storm was passing through, an image of a flock of flamingos huddled in a public restroom went viral on Instagram and Twitter, with the park staff keeping them safe from the storm.

“It was just mainly for our members and folks that follow us,” Sunken Gardens supervising director Dwayne Biggs told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s gone all over the country.”

While the other animals of the park were stored in specialized enclosures in the main building, the flamingos were kept in the women’s restroom, as its waterproof tiling made it a good fit for the birds.

“Actually it’s pretty close to what you would design for an animal-holding overnight facility,” Biggs said. “And it was the perfect size for our 21 flamingos.”

According to a subsequent post on the park’s Instagram, the park managed to weather the storm with minimal damage. As such, the flamingos will be returned to their usual enclosure later today, and the staff hope to have the park in operating condition by tomorrow.

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