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Children Rescue Flamingo Blown Off Course from Saudi Arabia to Siberia

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You think you’ve gotten lost? Try ending up in Siberia when you were headed for Saudi Arabia.

That was the case for a poor flamingo found in Siberia’s Angara River, in the country’s Krasnoyarsk region, by the village of Motygino. Some local village children came across the bird foundering in the river, exhausted by its flight, and the animal was too weak to resist their rescue attempt.

Fortunately for Vasya (as the bird has been christened), the kids brought him to the home of one Antonina Maisa, who’s been feeding the little guy shrimps to help him build his strength back up.

“We would like to pass the flamingo to a zoo or shelter with rare birds,” she told The Siberian Times. “Somewhere the flamingo will be comfortable, alongside companions with whom it can communicate. Ideally, the same bird breed, or at least from the same region.”

Irina Vorontsova, an expert from the Krasnoyarsk zoo, said the bird was probably flying south from Kazakhstan (likely the country’s Tengiz Lake) to somewhere in the Arabian peninsula — possibly Saudi Arabia — when he got turned around.

“It happens that sometimes a bird is not strong enough, and it goes astray, flies in the wrong direction,” she told the Times. “There’s quite a different temperature, the bird gets frostbite.”

This is the first recorded bird this winter, though there’s actually been an increasing trend of flamingos winding up in Siberia: They were spotted in several of the country’s regions in 2014 and 2015.