TULSA - There are three dozen flamingos at the Tulsa Zoo. Telling them apart takes more than a bird brain, and so does the job of keeping up with them. It's the job of Karen Higgins, bird keeper at the conservation center at the Tulsa Zoo.
Higgins runs the flamingo yard, but most days she feels like she's running Flamingo Road.
"There's a lot of 'you're standing too close to me' and bickering," said Higgins. "I just think of a morning soap opera. Someone's always dating somebody else and somebody's always talking to someone else."
All this gossip can be traced back to the head of the pecking order, Tall Paul. "If we had a godfather of the yard, it would be Paul," said Higgins.
This is how the story goes: Paul "dated" Squirt for years, until one day he up and left her for another "pink lady," Dufus.
"It really threw us all for a loop," said Higgins. "It was like a soap opera, 'NO! They have to stay together!"
Then, as soon as that happened, all the other flamingos traded mates as well. A concept baffling to the bird curator, who says flamingos typically mate for life.
Then, as if feathers couldn't have been ruffled enough, in comes a new chick. A flamingo kid.
The baby is just another factor to add more mama drama to the yard, so this young and restless one should fit right in.