A baby flamingo fashionista has had a suave pair of blue shoes made for it to protect its feet from hot concrete in zoo in Singapore. Squish, Greater Flamingo born 2 and a half months ago at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park, was spotted showing off his booties as he strolled through the complex on Thursday. The park tells the handmade booties are to protect Squish’s feet from hot concrete surfaces outside centre, a far cry from the cool, wet mudflats of his native South Africa. Daily walks are needed for exercise and exposure to daylight to help strengthen long-legged bird’s bones. Gerard Wan, an animal care officer at bird park, which is managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, told ‘When his feet are okay, we will send him back into the flock and hopefully he will be able to integrate with them.’
The now 1,6 kg bird was born after keepers found and incubated an abandoned egg at park’s Breeding and Research Centre. Flamingos are currently classed as ‘relatively low risk of extinction’ on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It takes 2 years for young flamingos like Squish to lose their grey and white colour and take on distinctive pink hue their species are famous for and which comes from the shrimp like crustaceans in their diet. Birds are famous for standing on 1 leg, which experts believe is done to conserve body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time in cold water.