Rare black flamingo spotted in Cyprus

2015-04-08 21:28
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Nicosia - An extremely rare black flamingo - possibly the only one of its kind - was spotted near a military base on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Wednesday, British military officials said.

The migratory bird was spotted at a salt lake near the British RAF base at Akrotiri on the island's south coast close to the resort city of Limassol.

"Of course we are all very excited because we believe it could be the only flamingo of its kind in the world and very little is known about it," said Alexia Perdiou, the base's assistant environment officer.

"We are expecting a lot of visitors over the next few days."

A black flamingo was reportedly last spotted in Israel in 2014 and aside from its colour, it is no different to the hundreds of pink flamingos which flock to the salt lakes of Cyprus every spring.

Experts believe a rare genetic irregularity known as "melanism" can generate more melanin than usual, turning a flamingo's feathers a dark colour.

Britain has retained sovereign military base areas on Cyprus since the island gained independence from British rule in 1960.

Read more on:    cyprus  |  birds

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