NEW YORK -- A rescue group believes a pink pigeon discovered in New York City was deliberately dyed and released.
A good Samaritan saw the animal on Monday in Madison Square Park after noticing the bright-colored bird walking around.
The king pigeon, which is a domestic bird, was brought to the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and education center in pretty poor condition.
The nonprofit said the pigeon, which they named Flamingo, has never flown before and was possibly purchased at a poultry market.
The group said the bird could not survive in the wild because it can't find food, fly well or escape predators. And being a bright, unusual color makes it even more of a target.
"She shouldn't be on the streets, she has no survival skills. She relies on people for everything," said Antonio Sanchez with Wild Bird Fund.
Officials with Wild Bird Fund believe the pigeon was deliberately dyed.
"I don't think we've ever really had a pink pigeon come into the clinic, so we were all pretty surprised," Sanchez said. "We were honestly disgusted that someone would do this."
They offered the following advice on social media, warning New Yorkers to not put other birds at the same risk.
"PSA: Please never release domestic birds to the wild. Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything. (We'd hope that "don't dye them" goes without saying, but...) They will starve or be preyed on. If you see an all-white pigeon in the wild, or any tame bird standing around looking lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and bring it to a pigeon rescue or animal sanctuary near you."