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Apr 29, 2011
Some people are straight up assholes!

Joseph Anthony Carrao, 45, was at Busch Gardens Tampa with his family around 6:45 p.m. when the incident occurred. Tampa Police say Carrao was in Busch Gardens’ Jambo Junction Animal Viewing Area when he reached into an animal pen and picked up the Chilean flamingo. Police say he was witnessed by other patrons throwing the flamingo to the ground.

Due to the excessive force, “Pinky” the flamingo needed to be euthanized.

“Pinky” was 19-years-old. She was quite the attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa, doing dance routines,

Busch Gardens released the following statement:

Yesterday evening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, an adult male guest attacked one of our animal ambassadors, a Chilean flamingo known as Pinky, causing traumatic injuries.

Pinky was immediately transported to the park’s Animal Care Center where veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries.

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.
Carrao was detained by Busch Gardens’ Security.

He was arrested by Tampa Police and charged with felony animal cruelty.

This is the third time Busch Gardens has made recent headlines, in June, an orangutan escaped from its enclosure. Then in July, an orangutan escaped from its enclosure.

The Hessian

MSG. Co. E, Cherokee Regiment of Rifles.
Nov 30, 2015
Saluda, Virginia
Yeah that's my question how the hell does this happen aren't people prevented from reaching into enclosures or at least have a trainer on hand to prevent this sort of thing?


Jul 22, 2013
Arlington, VA
The Hessian said:
Yeah that's my question how the hell does this happen aren't people prevented from reaching into enclosures or at least have a trainer on hand to prevent this sort of thing?

1. I don't think it is reasonable to blame BGT for their guest's crime.

2. In answer to your question, I have always seen animal trainers spread all around that area but they are usually talking to guests. Even if one of them could have gotten there in time, he/she probably could not and definitely should not physically engaged with a guest.

As an aside, I took a special behind the scenes tour of the facility and met Pinky and the rest of the flock. They are surprisingly engaging and entertaining birds. I'm glad this man has been caught and charged with a felony.
Apr 29, 2011
OK This guy is seriously fucked up!

From the Orlando Sentinel...

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Corrao served two years in prison for willfully fleeing and eluding law enforcement; driving under the influence, third conviction; and aggravated assault of a person 65 years or older charges out of Columbia County in north Florida. He was released last year.

He assaulted an elderly person so that should tell you right there he's a lunatic and because of that him attacking an animal isn't much of a surprise now.
Aug 31, 2013
Gainesville, FL
That enclosure wasn't too safe to begin with, and while it's awesome to get up close to these animals, disgusting people prevent us from having anything worthwhile.

Enraged as a Tampa local to have to tolerate such imbeciles who have no respect for animal welfare and park rules.
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Pusheen Gardens
Jul 20, 2011
Williamsburg, VA
Accused Busch Gardens flamingo killer deemed competent to stand trial
Joseph Carrao is accused of reaching into an animal pen at Busch Gardens, grabbing Pinky the flamingo and slamming her down.

Author: Eric Glasser, Mark Bergin
Published: 11:16 AM EDT March 28, 2019
Updated: 5:49 PM EDT March 28, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — The 45-year-old man accused of killing a popular dancing flamingo at Busch Gardens has been deemed competent to stand trial, according to court documents filed earlier this month.
Joseph Anthony Carrao is accused of reaching into an animal pen, grabbing a flamingo named Pinky and slamming her down in August 2016. Pinky was later euthanized.

At the time Carrao, 47, who had a previous criminal record for violent behavior, was deemed incompetent for trial.

Carrao was evaluated by local doctors. He was also ordered to undergo in-home competency training to get him to the point where he could be prosecuted.
“This case, because of the news and notoriety, they are going to take it all the way,” local criminal defense attorney Denis DeVlaming said.
Carrao was found competent at a hearing on March 6 of this year based on the evidence presented. The court appointed Dr. Joseph Paight to reevaluate Corrao.

Carrao does not have a future court date listed as of Thursday morning, according to the Hillsborough Circuit Court clerk.
DeVlaming said prosecutors know people are watching and there is pressure from Busch Gardens to send a signal that harming its animals won’t be tolerated.
“Pinky was probably a different story. The outrage was there. The notoriety was there,” said DeVlaming. “And the thirst for blood, to a certain extent, from the people who, whether they be animal rights activist or not, was there.”



DarKoaster stalker
Advisory Panel
Silver Donor
Jun 16, 2013
If it has taken 2 and a half years to get him to the point that he is competent to stand trial then I question whether there is really any point of putting him on trial. It seems like there is a VERY good chance that he will be found to not had the mental capacity to understand his actions at the time. It would seem to me that it's in society's best interests to plead the case out in exchange for a deal that keeps him in treatment.
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Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
There could be a variety of factors that they seem make him competent to stand trial that don't relate to his specific crime.
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