NYC pigeon dyed pink sparks speculation of 'sickening' gender reveal: 'What is wrong with people?'
A gender reveal party could be to blame for a pale pink pigeon that was discovered in a New York City public park.
"PSA: Please never release domestic birds to the wild," the Wild Bird Fund, an Upper West Side-based nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation group, wrote in a Twitter post. "Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything. (We'd hope that 'don't dye them' goes without saying, but...) They will starve or be preyed on. If you see an all-white pigeon in the wild, or any tame bird standing around looking lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and bring it to a pigeon rescue or animal sanctuary near you."
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The bright pink pigeon whose feathers were "deliberately dyed," according to the rescue group, was saved by a good Samaritan who noticed its brightly colored body and reported it.
Observant onlookers speculated on how the naturally snow-white bird became bubble-gum pink.
"My guess is someone did it for a kid’s bday party or gender reveal," one person commented. "Sickening."
"What is wrong with people?" another wrote.
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The rescue group determined that the bird was a king pigeon, a type of bird bred to be kept in captivity for exhibition or consumption. The Wild Bird Fund shared that they believe that the animal had never flown before and was most likely purchased from a poultry market.
Since the bird had never flown before and because of its vibrant plumes, the rescue group shared that the fowl was even more of a target to prey.
"This poor bird has it bad enough as a domestic bird, unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, but being a bright, unusual color makes him even more of a target," the Wild Bird Fund wrote.
Gender reveal parties are a trend that gained popularity over the last decade. Expecting couples gather loved ones to reveal the sex of their unborn child, usually through extravagant means involving the color blue or pink.
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The center shared that the bird was "barely more than a fledging but shows signs of long-term malnutrition." Now the non-profit is caring for the pink pigeon until it is healthier and stronger. Then, it will be transferred to a sanctuary where other king pigeons live.