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Ringo the flamingo causes flap at British airport

A pink flamingo nicknamed ‘Ringo’ caused a flap at Britain’s Manchester Airport over the weekend.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the airport’s wildlife control unit and local police spent about five hours trying to capture a flamingo first spotted strutting down one of the runways on Sunday night.

Police tried using night vision cameras to spot the bird but couldn’t locate it and so gave the all-clear, thinking the bird had moved on.

But it showed up again on Monday morning.

Airport staff then tried to shoo Ringo off with a 4x4 vehicle specially designed to keep the airfield bird-free, but that didn’t work, either. They set off flares, blasted loud music and tried other scare tactics in attempts to move the bird away from the runway, but Ringo didn’t fly off until midday.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said the incident did not ground any planes, but it did force the early closure of one of the runways.

“It certainly was real,” Manchester Airport tweeted today to a passenger questioning the bird sightings.

How the pink flamingo ended up at the airport remains a mystery. Flamingos are not native to Britain but can be found in parts of southern Europe and Africa. No area wildlife sanctuaries reported a missing bird.

Birds sucked into aircraft engines can cause serious damage and crashes, so airports take large bird sightings seriously. But it’s not only birds that can cause flight delays: last week, about 150 turtles in search of a place to lay their eggs delayed flights at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. 

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Find more by Harriet Baskas on Stuck at The Airport.com and follow her on Twitter.