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Governor Launches BZS Flamingo Fundraiser
Bermuda’s new Governor George Fergusson today [June 1] helped Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] launch its annual “Flamingo Flocking Fun-raiser” on the Government House lawn.
Throughout June, the support charity for Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo [BAMZ] is offering flocks of plastic flamingos to private and corporate participants who wish to surprise relatives, friends and colleagues by paying to have the birds planted on lawns or in office lobbies.
At the official launch event, Governor Fergusson cut a hot-pink ribbon to “release” the flock to start roosting around the Island. From left: Governor Fergusson, BZS volunteer Jennifer Chisnall and Dr. Ian Walker, Principal Curator of Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.
“We hope the whole Bermuda community will be ‘Tickled Pink’ to support this campaign—which, although fun, has a very serious purpose: all funds raised will benefit BZS environmental education programmes for children,” said BZS President Richard Winchell.
To take part, just call the Flamingo Flocking Hotline at 293-2727 extension 2130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Every evening, members of the BZS Flocking Crew will deliver a flock of the bright plastic birds to the lawn or office of unsuspecting targets, where they will remain for 24 hours. Residential Flocking costs $70 to sponsor; Corporate Flocking $250—or book the whole flock of 150 birds for $1,000.
You can even support the project by not taking part. Folks averse to tacky pink flamingos or just prone to privacy can protect themselves by purchasing “Anti-Flocking Insurance.” The fee guarantees the flock will never roost on your lawn as it migrates around Bermuda over the next month.
Funds raised during the campaign support BZS’s free conservation-education programmes, which include classes at BAMZ, marine expeditions to coral reefs and seagrass beds, fieldtrips to national parks around Bermuda, and holiday and afterschool camps and nature encounters. More than 6,000 students of all ages benefit annually from the year-round programmes, which are run under the BZS mission “to educate tomorrow’s environmentalists.”
Bermuda’s love affair with pink flamingos began years ago:
* In 1954, a captive propagation of flamingos began at BAMZ;
* The first flamingo hatching happened in 1967;
* BAMZ-bred flamingos were reintroduced to Anegada, British Virgin Islands in 1992;
* After escaping for the second time in September 2003 [its first escape and recapture was 16 years earlier], “Flo” the vagrant flamingo was caught at Warwick Pond and returned to the Zoo’s flock in 2004.
Today the long-necked pink flamingos are still one of the most popular attractions at BAMZ. BZS is the support charity for Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, funding a full slate of education programmes, conservation and research projects, exhibits and community outreach events. BAMZ is a Bermuda government institution within the Department of Conservation Services.