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article imageWild fox attacks, kills Chilean flamingoes at Helsinki's Zoo

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 9, 2010 in Environment
Helsinki - A wild fox managed to gain access to a coop holding 15 Chilean flamingoes at the Helsinki Zoo killing all of them. The Zoo plans to have them replaced.
The Helsinki Zoo is located on Korkeasaari, a 22 hectare rocky island near the Finnish capital. The fox, not a Zoo resident, apparently crossed the frozen sea to reach the island. The animal jumped over the iron fence surrounding the roofless enclosure to reach the birds. It killed all 15 flamingoes in the flock before escaping. Most of them have been in the Zoo for at least 20 years. The oldest bird in the flock was about 48 years old.
Jukka Salo, Director of the Zoo said: "The footprints are very clear, this is a wild fox". "We are planning on getting a new flock of flamingoes, but first we have to review our safety measures", Salo added.
The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is a very large, elegant bird. It has pinkish plumage, grey legs pink “knees” and red feet. In Chile, its habitat extends from the Tarapacá dessert to Tierra del Fuego. It prefers mudflats, estuaries, lagoons and salt-lakes at elevations up to 4,500 m. The UICN has listed this species in the Red List as “Near Threatened”.
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