When your significant other — or your primary care doctor — nags you that it’s time for your annual physical, buck up and be brave.
You don’t want to be outdone by a flock of birds, do you?
Turns out Zoo Miami’s flamingos also receive annual wellness exams and, aside from a little squawking, they seem to take to the treatment with a minimum of fuss.
In a video released by the Miami-Dade attraction, the wellness exams seemed to go mostly smoothly. Zoo Miami’s flock of 25 Caribbean flamingos — 14 male, 11 female — were carefully corralled into a small area and then, one by one, met the zoo’s associate veterinarians, Dr. Jimmy Johnson and Dr. Gaby Flacke.
A blood sample was taken from each flamingo, which was also weighed and given a close overall exam to look for any potential problems, the zoo’s spokesman, Ron Magill, said in a release. The flamingos were also vaccinated for the West Nile virus.
For us humans, our weight and blood test results tell us what we need to know — even if we don’t necessarily want to hear about the former. For flamingos, particular attention is paid to the feet because the feet “can be susceptible to certain issues,” Magill said.
After the flamingos were checked, they were returned to their exhibit at the zoo and can be seen, as dainty as you please, trotting off into the water, grateful another year’s probing is history.
That is, for all but one bird, a 31-year-old male which did not pass its physical and was exhibiting some respiratory problems, Magill said. Instead of going back to the exhibit, it was sent to the zoo’s Animal Hospital and was “resting comfortably” as the vets continued their evaluations.
“These exams are part of an important preventive medicine program designed to identify any potential health issues with the animals that live at the zoo,” Magill said. “Because they are wild animals, they oftentimes will disguise any symptoms of disease or illness until the progression is too far advanced. By being able to identify any potential issues during early stages through preventive exams, lives can, and have been, saved.”