Wanted: Flamingos in St. Petersburg


Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg is famously known for their pink flamingos. But as of recently, there is a shortage of flamingos and Sunken Gardens is unable to show off their main stars.

Sunken Garden, located at 1825 Fourth St. N, opened to the public in 1920 but did not have their 17 flamingos until the mid 1950’s.  According to TampaBayTimes, Sunken Garden is now down to their last two flamingos.

Bill O’Grady, supervisor of the 4-acre garden, is saddened by the shortage of flamingos. “Little by little they’ve reached their expiration date,” said O’Grady. “Seeing just two for me is sad and it’s not good to keep them by themselves. Flamingos are very gregarious and they are used to being in huge flocks.”

Leslie Larmon and Robin Reed felt the same way about the shortage of flamingos and decided to make a change. These two Sunken Garden volunteers started a nonprofit organization called “Flamingos Forever.”

So far, the duo have raised $30,000 and are halfway to what is needed to purchase 20 flamingos. Anyone who donates $3,000 receives naming rights of a new bird.

Right now, there is a collection box at Sunken Gardens where locals and tourists can donate their chosen amount of money.

“It’s really heartening to see people who have been here before, people from another country, contribute,” O’Grady said.

The soonest the birds can be in Sunken Gardens is in the spring, O’Grady said. Flamingos lay one egg a year. If the fundraising brings success, Sunken Gardens could have a whole new experience with flamingos once a baby boom starts.