Tampa, Florida — By now, the entire country probably knows of Joseph Corrao — the guy that went to Busch Gardens and caused the death of the park’s beloved “Dancing Flamingo” named Pinky.
Here are 5 Fast Facts about this story you need to know:
1Corrao Picked Her Up and Slammed Her Down “In a Rage”
Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, was visiting Busch Gardens with his family on Tuesday, August 2. Witnesses have claimed that he grabbed Pinky from her enclosure in the Flamingo Pen, picking her up and then throwing her back down ‘in a rage’.
He had previously picked up another flamingo before placing it back down unharmed, but Pinky was not so lucky. His mother is said to have shouted at him after he picked up Pinky, leading to his violent reaction where he viciously threw her to the ground.
He was then detained by security officers before being transferred to the custody of Tampa Bay police. Pinky was taken to a nearby treatment center, but the veterinarians decided it was best to euthanize her due to the seriousness of the injuries she sustained.
2Corrao Has an Extensive Criminal Record that Includes Assault Charges
Corrao appears to have had a rather extensive criminal record going back to 2012, which can be confirmed via online court records. This has resulted in almost three years of time in prison due to various different changes over the years. Among the worst of these includes aggravated assault on a person 65 years or older.
He was only just released from prison last year, where has spent almost a year behind bars. He had been charged for shooting and killing two chained dogs with a shotgun.
3Pinky Was a Beloved Attraction at Busch Gardens
Pinky was a 19-year-old Chilean Flamingo that had become one of the must-see sights at Busch Gardens. She was also an ambassador for the amusement park after her birth in 1996 and was one of 20 flamingos.
She was an out-going flamingo when many others were notoriously shy. Rather than run and hide from visitors, she was very friendly and became popular as a result of this.
Park officials said in a statement:
“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, She will be sorely missed.”
4Pinky Loved Dancing
One reason guests loved Pinky so much was because she loved to dance! It was quite the sight to behold, and she would love nothing more than to be the center of attention and put on a great show for all the visitors passing by.
This was not something that she was trained to do according to Busch Gardens, as Pinky just loved to show off, and her dancing was simply a natural behavior.
5Corrao Could Face Up to Five Years in Prison if Found Guilty
Corrao was jailed and released the following day on $2,000 bail. According to Hillsborough County court records, Corrao has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals — a third-degree felony that carries maximum sentence of five years and a fine of up to $10,000 if he is convicted.
When in court, Judge John Conrad said that Corrao’s crime was “beyond senseless”.
The infuriated judge continued:
“It actually borders on depraved, Mr. Corrao, I don’t know if you have other issues. I don’t know who does that, I really don’t. I don’t relate to that on any level.”