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Flamingo put down after man 'throws animal to ground'

Chilean flamingo Pinky was known for her 'dancing'. Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay via Reuters

A crowd-pleasing theme park flamingo had to be put down after a visitor allegedly grabbed the animal and threw it to the ground.

Chilean flamingo Pinky was known for her "dancing" and officials at Busch Gardens in Florida said she will be "sorely missed".

Joseph Anthony Corrao, aged 45, from Orlando, was arrested by police and charged with animal cruelty.

Corrao was in the park's Jambo Junction Animal Viewing Area with his family around 6.45pm on Tuesday when he is alleged to have picked up the bird.

"The defendant was witnessed by other patrons throwing the flamingo to the ground," a police statement said.

Joseph Anthony Corrao was charged with animal cruelty. Credit: Tampa Bay Police

The 19-year-old animal suffered traumatic injuries and vets decided to "humanely euthanize" it as a result.

Pinky was a crowd-pleaser at the Tampa Bay park, doing a dance of sorts that involved stomping her feet while turning round and around.

"Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park's conservation and education efforts," park spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka said. "She will be sorely missed."