The Zoo at Chehaw is home to 234 specimens representing over 73 different species. Enjoy natural, outdoor exhibits including Cheetahs, Black Rhinoceros’, Meerkats, Black Bears, Alligators, and many more, while you stroll through our scenic boardwalks and cypress swamp. Participate in animal feedings and keeper talks every weekend. Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride is free with admission, and will take you through our largest exhibit where seven different species roam in natural herds. The Zoo at Chehaw undergoes regular, thorough investigation to ensure that it has met, and will to continue to meet, ever-rising standards. These standards encompass animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. 

Phoenicopterus minor

Image result for lesser flamingo

Lesser Flamingos are filter-feeding wading birds native to Africa. They are the smallest of the six flamingo species, and the pinkest of the two old world species.

Lesser flamingo behavior and facts

  • Lesser flamingos get their pink color from pigments in an algae called spirulina, which is their primary food.
  • Flamingos have a poor sense of taste and no sense of smell.
  • Flocking helps flamingos evade predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and jackals.
  • During courtship, lesser flamingos gather to march back and forth, all going in the same direction.
  • They stand tall with their necks stretched upwards and flap their wings to flash the colors of their feathers.
  • Adults are left flightless for around three weeks during their molt.

From birth to death

  • Lesser flamingos breed primarily in the salty Rift Valley lakes of East Africa.
  • Smaller breeding congregations also occur in West Africa, southern Africa, Asia, India and Pakistan.
  • Lesser flamingo breeding colonies may number in the thousands of pairs, and are often mixed with greater flamingos.
  • They breed on large undisturbed alkaline and saline lakes, salt pans or coastal lagoons.
  • Raised mud nests help keep flamingo eggs cool and dry.
  • Flamingo chicks are fed a liquid diet by their parents.
  • Chicks can walk a week after hatching.

Vital statistics

  • Adult lesser flamingos are on average 35.5 inches in length
  • Flamingo hatchlings typically weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces
  • Adults weigh between 2.5 and 5 pounds


IUCN Near threatened