Orlando man accused in Pinky the flamingo's death at Busch Gardens fatally hit by truck

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida man accused of attacking and killing a flamingo at Busch Gardens in Tampa was hit and killed by a pickup truck while crossing an Orlando street earlier this month, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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Joseph Corrao, 48, was struck by the pickup while he was crossing a busy street near his Orlando home shortly before 6 a.m. on June 5, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He died at an area hospital, the newspaper reported. The driver of the pickup, who was not injured, was not cited.

Corrao's family declined comment, the newspaper reported.

In August 2016, Corrao was visiting Busch Gardens with his family when he allegedly reached into the flamingo's pen and grabbed Pinky, a beloved dancing pink flamingo, WTSP reported. Corrao then allegedly slammed the bird to the ground, the television station reported.

Corrao later told police he was trying to show off to his daughter, the Times reported. He also told police he did not mean to injure the flamingo, the newspaper reported.

Pinky's leg was nearly severed, and she had to be euthanized, the newspaper reported.

"Pinky liked to dance and when she was getting the attention she wanted, she would start dancing in circles," then-Busch Gardens' spokeswoman Karen Varga-Sinka told WTSP in 2016.

"She was the sweetest thing."

Corrao spent five days in jail before he was released on bail, the Times reported.

Corrao's trial had been scheduled for August, WFTS reported.

A judge had ordered Corrao to undergo in-home competency restoration training, and in March, Corrao was declared competent to stand trial, the Times reported.

Corrao previously was arrested on felony animal cruelty charges for shooting his neighbor's two dogs, the newspaper reported.


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