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Subject: Pink-phobic flamingos

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/20/09 at 9:57 am

A pair of flamingo chicks at London Zoo have been left 'terrified' of the colour pink.

The birds, named Little and Large, developed the phobia after being fed using a pink sock puppet.

Zoo staff are now hoping they get over their aversion before developing their distinctive colour, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Keeper Alison Brown, 30, said: "To try to encourage Little to feed by himself we've been wearing a hand puppet which imitates adult flamingos, but unfortunately he was really terrified of the socks."

Young flamingos take up to a year to turn pink, after they shed their grey downing feathers, so Little and Large are not afraid of themselves or each other - so far.

Ms Brown added: "We'll just have to hope they get used to the colour pink, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. Once Little gets his own pink colour he'll be fine."

Large, at 800g, weighs considerably more than Little, who is just 584g, but Ms Brown is not concerned for the smaller chick.

"Little just needs to learn to eat by himself and then he'll start putting on weight and get as big as Large," she said.

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