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June 27, 2017

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Poor health leads Australian zoo to put oldest flamingo in world to sleep, age 83

SYDNEY--Staff at Adelaide Zoo were in mourning Friday after the world's oldest flamingo, and their oldest resident, died aged 83.

The flamingo, known as "Greater" after his species, was put to sleep on Thursday due to complications associated with old age, having arrived at the zoo in 1933.

Greater is survived by long-term friend Chilly — a Chilean flamingo — who is in his 60s and will be monitored to see how he reacts to the death.

"Greater is best known for being the world's oldest flamingo and the last greater flamingo to have resided in Australia," Zoos South Australia chief executive Elaine Bensted said.

"Although this is an extremely sad loss for us all, it was the right thing to do.

"There was no additional medical treatment that would have improved Greater's quality of life."

Zoo staff said records showed another flamingo was still alive aged 67, believed to be in a South American zoo. No bird in the wild would live so long, due to predators and lack of medical attention.

While flamingos can live for decades in captivity, they only have a lifespan of about 25 years in the wild.

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