Amber Flamingo

Alaska Airlines flight attendant saves rare flamingo eggs during flight; Zoo honors her with naming of newly hatched chick

Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Amber has had some unusual requests in her 10 years of flying, but being asked to help save some flamingo eggs just about topped them all.   

The request came during a flight from Atlanta to Seattle last August.  

“A passenger rang the call button and asked if I would help keep some eggs warm,” Amber said. 

Befuddled, she inquired further and learned that the guest wasn’t crying fowl.   

The guest was a zoo official transporting rare Chilean flamingo eggs from Zoo Atlanta to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo and the incubator keeping them warm had stopped working.  

Thinking quickly, Amber went to the galley, found some rubber gloves and filled them with warm water. She brought them to the zoo official who quickly wrapped them around the eggs, making a cozy nest. Guests seated nearby offered their coats and scarves for extra insulation.  

Being resourceful and thinking on their feet are traits Alaska Flight Attendants are known for, even when it comes to our feathered guests.  

I was glad to help,” Amber said, adding that she and fellow crew members kept checking with the zoo official during the flight and replacing the gloves as the water cooled.  

Months later, Amber received a surprising call from the zoo asking her if she’d like to meet the baby flamingos she had saved.  

“I was honored and so happy that the chicks had hatched—all six of them!” she said. 

Amber and her granddaughter, Sunny, were honored guests of Woodland Park Zoo, treated to an exclusive tour that included a delightful ‘meet and greet’ with the recently-hatched chicks. The adorable birds showcased their fluffy gray feathers and long, skinny legs, with the zoo explaining that the flamingoes’ signature pink color only emerges in adulthood.  

The six Chilean flamingos mark the first hatching of the species at the zoo since 2016 and bring the zoo’s current flamingo flock to 49. 

“We are forever grateful for the heroic measures Amber took to help keep our precious flamingo eggs warm and viable,” said Gigi Allianic, from Woodland Park Zoo. “This means the world to our zoo family. They would have been lost if you hadn’t gone above and beyond for us.” 

The zoo recently completed a public poll to name one of the flamingo chicks.  If you go to the zoo today, you can meet all six of them—Magdalena, Amaya, Rosales, Gonzo, Bernardo—and Sunny, after Amber’s granddaughter. 

“Having baby Sunny meet flamingo Sunny was just wonderful,” Amber said. “I am excited to see them both grow up.”   

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