Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Flamingo puts legs up to keep cool

An Andean flamingo has been observed floating in water, rather than standing on one leg, in a bid to cool down

A flamingo has shunned standing on one leg for floating in water in a bid to cool down.

Experts at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire say they have never witnessed the "unusual" behaviour before.

The 52-year-old Andean flamingo began floating when temperatures first soared a few weeks ago.

He now regularly indulges in a mid-afternoon float, with his legs outstretched behind him.

Paul Rose, a flamingo expert at WWT Slimbridge, said: "Lots of flamingos go for a quick paddle around but I've never seen anything like this.

"I first noticed the unusual behaviour as the weather warmed up a few weeks ago so I think it is his way of keeping cool in the heat of the day.

"He floats with his legs outstretched behind him for long periods of time.

"I think it is his way of relaxing, as he seems very content. It is presumably the equivalent to a human floating in a swimming pool on a lilo."

The flamingos at the centre are enjoying a very successful breeding year due to the hot weather, he added.

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