A baby flamingo at a Singapore bird park is catching everyone's attention these days because of his unique style statement.
Squish, the 3.5 pounds (1.6kg) Greater Flamingo, at the Jurong Bird Park, took his first stroll through the grounds on Thursday (17 August) wearing a pair of blue booties. The park said the booties were customised to protect his feet from the hot concrete surfaces, which are complete opposite of the cool, wet terrain of its native South Africa.
The specialised blue booties will prevent the baby flamingo's feet from getting callused, which could get infected and delay his release into the wild, ABC News quoted bird experts as saying.
Squish was born months ago from an abandoned egg that the keepers found and incubated at the park's Breeding and Research Centre.
Jurong Bird Park's animal care officer Gerard Wan said the walk in the sun will help the flamingo strengthen his bones. The UV rays will also help boosts his calcium level.
"When his feet are [strong enough,] we will send him back into the flock, and hopefully, he will be able to integrate with them," Wan said, adding Squish is doing well and doesn't need to be fed. In the next few weeks, the bird will be strong enough to release to the flock.
It is said that young flamingos take at least two years to lose their grey and white colour to adapt to their distinctive pink hue for which their species are famous. The colour comes from the shrimp-like crustaceans in their diet.