Floyd the flamingo standing in his pen

Fabulous Floyd

Flamingo standing in shallow water

Standing tall

A flamingo’s long legs are an important adaptation. Their legs keep most of the bird’s body dry and warm while they wade in water, searching for food. Floyd, a flamingo at the San Diego Zoo, had a problem with his legs, but our wildlife care specialists were able to help him!

One of Floyd's wildlife care specialists helps him to stand.

Straightening out

As Floyd grew, wildlife care specialists noticed his legs were crooked. Veterinarians performed three surgeries to help straighten Floyd’s legs. But after the surgery, Floyd needed to not stand on his legs to let them heal. Luckily, his care specialists had a plan.

One of Floyd the flamingo's animal care specialists holds him up off his feet as his legs heal.

Have a seat, Floyd!

From the time he was just a fuzzy chick, wildlife care specialists noticed Floyd was kind of a “lap flamingo.” He liked to sit in their laps or have them hold him, so that’s what they did while his legs healed! “For two weeks, someone was always holding him, 24 hours a day,” says Kristina Nelson, a senior wildlife care specialist.

Floyd rests in his suspended sling.

Special care

As Floyd’s legs got stronger, the wildlife care team made a sling so he could practice standing. So he could keep gaining strength, the team held him between sessions and even stayed with him at night. “Sometimes we’d watch a movie on a tablet,” Kristina remembers. “Floyd once watched Finding Nemo!”

Floyd being held by a wildlife care specialist's hands

Such a good story

Floyd was such a good patient and his recovery went so well, we thought everyone would be amazed by his story—which has been put into a book, Fabulous Floyd: The True Story of a Flamingo Who Never Gave Upfrom our Hope & Inspiration series. The next time you face something that seems impossible, remember Floyd, ask for help, and give it your best effort!