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Flamingo Ingo — the oldest animal in the Berlin Zoo — dead at 75

Flamingos typically live for about 30 years in the wild
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Flamingo Ingo stands in the sunlight in a small lake next to his fellow flamingos at Berlin Zoo, Aug. 23, 2018. The Berlin Zoo is mourning Ingo the Flamingo, its oldest resident, who has died at what is thought to be at least 75 and had lived there since the mid-1950s. The zoo announced Ingo’s death at an “imposing” age in social media posts on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2024. (Gregor Fischer/dpa via AP)

The Berlin Zoo is mourning Ingo the flamingo, its oldest resident, who died at what is believed to be at least 75 years of age and had lived there since the mid-1950s.

The zoo announced Ingo’s Feb. 3 death at an “imposing” age in social media posts on Wednesday, adding that he was “truly a legend!”

His place of origin is unclear. The zoo said a ring on the bird’s leg with the inscription “Cairo, 23.6.1948” showed that he was ringed at a young age and was at least 75.

The title of oldest animal at the zoo passed to Fatou, a gorilla whose age the zoo puts at 66.

Ingo had lived at the zoo in what was then West Berlin since the summer of 1955, when he arrived from the Tierpark zoo in the divided city’s communist east. The inscription on the ring was discovered only a few years ago.

He is believed to have fathered descendants, but there are no detailed records on that, German news agency dpa reported.

Ingo had limped a little recently and sometimes appeared to need a rest from his fellow flamingos, standing aside from them, but lived well beyond the roughly 30-year average life span of flamingos in the wild.

In a statement on Thursday, zoo director Andreas Knieriem said an autopsy showed that “multiple age-related changes” caused the flamingo’s death.

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