Controversial flamingos have left the Utrecht garden center after thirty years 8:17 PM in Regional news The presence of the birds has been a thorn in the side of animal rights activists for years. The flamingos are said to have insufficient space and live in an unnatural environment.

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Flamingos Intratuin Utrecht

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A garden center in Utrecht has said goodbye to two flamingos in its store after a third died. The presence of the birds had been a thorn in the side of animal rights activists for years. They have been moved to a zoo.

The flamingos had lived in the Intratuin branch on Koningsweg for thirty years. There were first protests against it about fifteen years ago. An action group felt that the animals had too little space in the unnatural store environment.

Over the years, there have been regular calls for a boycott of the store. Protest videos were also made and supporters were asked to point out to Intratuin that “flamingos are not a decor”.

The reason why the birds were still there was partly because, according to researchers, a move would be too stressful. Moreover, according to the garden center, the animals were “excellently” cared for. “They had a great time with us and also looked good,” owner and caretaker Ben Jongerius told RTV Utrecht.

Jongerius never wanted to give in to the pressure from activists, but after consultation with the Animal Protection Society in 2016, he stated that he would be open to rehoming if one of the flamingos were to die.

Moved to the zoo

Now that that is the case, the situation has been reexamined. “Our flamingos have been moved to Amersfoort Zoo due to the death of one of our birds and agreements made in the past with the Animal Protection Society,” reads a note hung in the store for customers.

The Party for the Animals is happy with the news. According to the Utrecht faction, “a zoo with others of its kind is better than a garden center with many people, noise and a layer of water.”

Animal Protection confirms that the animals seemed to be enjoying themselves in the garden centre. “They didn’t know any better and the three of them were really friends.” Now that one of the three is dead, the group dynamics have changed so much that they can be moved, according to the Animal Protection Agency. It is expected that the birds will be accepted as a couple more quickly into the flamingo colony in Amersfoort.

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