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London Zoo's flamingo chicks have an unusual fear -- the color pink

June 23, 2009 |  6:27 pm

Little and Large, two young flamingos with an unusual phobia -- the color pink Two flamingo chicks at the London Zoo are making life difficult for their keepers with their bizarre aversion to the color pink.

The chicks, named Little and Large for the obvious reasons, are being hand-raised by zoo staff. Since Little needed to gain some weight, keepers tried to encourage him to eat by feeding him through a lifelike-if-your-brain-is-the-size-of-a-walnut pink sock meant to resemble an adult flamingo.

Little was terrified.

Since then, the siblings have been steadfast in their avoidance of all things pink. The zoo even brought in a special yellow tray to hold water when it was time to teach the chicks how to get their feet wet, a baby step on the way to life in a pond. "They just don't seem to like the color," keeper Alison Brown explained. "Birds see in different color spectrums than humans -- so there’s no logical reason for them not liking pink."

Since young flamingos are gray and don't turn their typical pink shade until they're older -- sometimes not until they're a year old, according to the Telegraph -- they have some time to grow out of their fear. The zoo hopes to have them acclimated to the color by the time they turn pink themselves -- "else they will be in for a shock!" as Brown puts it.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Little and Large at the London Zoo. Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

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