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3 Flamingos Rescued in Altai Republic After Severe Storm

Two flamingos being sheltered by Alexander Yarygin. Saylyugem National Park / Telegram

At least three exhausted flamingos were discovered by locals in southern Siberia's republic of Altai following a severe storm that hit parts of Siberia over the weekend, the Saylyugem National Park said Thursday.

In a series of events that the national park described as a “flamingo-fall,” local residents discovered the first two frozen and exhausted flamingos along a road in the republic of Altai’s Choyski district on Sunday evening and called specialists for assistance. 

"One [bird] was flapping its wings. The other had already weakened and was almost lying down,” said Alexander Yarygin, a veterinarian at the Manzherok ski resort and animal welfare public inspector. 

“The residents brought the feathered ones to a warm room on the farm because it was obvious leaving southern birds in the frost is not an option.”

After warming, feeding and rehydrating the animals, which had minor injuries to the wing and beak, the rescue team transported the birds to Barnaul Zoo, where they will be kept until their condition improves.

Yarygin also sheltered a third flamingo discovered by locals in the Shebalinsky on Thursday. He noted that the bird had damaged wings and kept tucking its leg, possibly due to injury or freezing amid temperatures in Altai dropping to -18 C. 

The video shared online shows a flamingo standing in a bathtub and eating gammarus, a feed made from crustaceans, provided by Yarygin. This bird will also remain in Barnaul, the administrative center of the Altai Republic.

These are not the first cases of pink flamingos discovered in Altai.

“Most likely, the birds deviated from their migration path, possibly during a recent storm,” said Alexei Kuzhlekov, a researcher at Saylyugem National Park. 

“Huge thanks to the local residents for their compassion. If the birds had stayed in the cold a little longer, they would have perished.”

The storm that struck Altai on Sunday resulted in fallen trees, power outages in hundreds of settlements and damage to numerous buildings. 

In Altai Krai, a region neighboring the Altai republic, the number of people affected by the hurricane-force winds reached 16, including one fatality.

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