Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, of Orlando, has been charged with aggravated cruelty towards animals.
Days after the death of Busch Gardens’ dancing flamingo Pinky following an unfortunate interaction with a guest, the park’s owner is calling for authorities to “pursue the case with vigor.”
“SeaWorld will strongly urge prosecution in this case, and for any person who engages in this sort of cruel behavior towards animals,” president and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Joel Manby said in a statement.
“Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family, and she will be sorely missed. Our Ambassador team members are appalled by this incident, and I am sure they share my view that our state must have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of cruelty.”
The sentiment was echoed by the The Humane Society of the United States, whose president and CEO Wayne Pacelle added, “People who abuse animals often don’t stop there, and pose a violent risk to the rest of society. That’s why we’ve worked to fortify the legal framework across the country to punish malicious animal cruelty as a serious offense.”
Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, of Orlando, has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. He remains in custody pending bond, and no court dates have been set in conjunction with his case. If convicted of the charge, Corrao could face a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison.