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1,000+ fearless flamingos land in Ukraine war zone

by editor

KYIV — Not all flying visitors to Ukraine bring death and destruction.

Tuzlivski Lymany, a picturesque national park on the Black Sea coast, this weekend saw the arrival of more than 1,000 pink flamingos.

It’s a colorful change of tone for a country that has spent the last 18 months taking cover from Russian missiles, bombs and killer drones, as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion grinds on toward another winter.

“As our scientist informs, 1,114 pink flamingos arrived. So far, this is the largest number of these birds recorded by scientists on the territory of the Park. Almost all are adults, but there are also some chicks this year,” Tuzlivski Lymany Park said in a Facebook post.

“Several birds were ringed with white rings. It was not possible to determine their origin. But one bird was with a blue ring. This means this guest is Italian,” scientists added.

This year, some flamingos migrated to Ukraine in spring. Some 570 decided to stay and nest in the region despite the active war, Ivan Rusev — head of the research department and doctor of science in ecology at Tuzlivski Lymany — said in a statement in September.

According to the Tuzlivski Lymany scientists, the flamingos that arrived in October are not the same birds that nested in summer.

Rusev wrote that flamingos managed to form a stable colony for the first time in the Odesa region in 2023. Earlier, in 2017 they tried to settle in the Kherson region on Churyuk Lake, not far from Crimea, but only three chicks hatched and their fate is unknown.

During the Russian invasion and occupation of the Kherson region “the birds left the temporarily occupied territories and chose the Tuzlivki estuaries,” Rusev said. “As Russian barbarians keep destroying our nature, a flaming miracle was born in Odesa.”

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