Judge: Man accused of killing Pinky the Dancing Flamingo not competent

Last Updated: Friday, February 17, 2017, 1:59 PM EST

A judge ruled that an Orlando man accused of killing Busch Gardens' Pinky the Dancing Flamingo last August is too mentally ill to go to trial.

Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Tom Barber issued the order Friday after two doctors who examined 45-year-old Joseph Corrao concluded he is not competent to stand trial on an aggravated animal cruelty charge stemming from the death of Pinky.

Corrao is out on bond and attended the hearing but hardly spoke.

A future hearing will discuss doctors' findings of Corrao and treatment options for him.

Last August, Corrao was with his mother, brother and three teenage children at Busch Gardens’ Jambo Junction animal viewing area when, for some reason, he allegedly reached into an animal pen and picked up a flamingo, Tampa public safety information coordinator Stephen Hegarty said in a statement at the time.

He set down that flamingo uninjured, police said, but then picked up a second flamingo, which was Pinky. Other park-goers and Corrao's mother told him to leave the flamingos alone, police said.

Witnesses told police that Corrao then threw Pinky to the ground, which nearly led to the severing of the bird's foot. Hegarty said that because of the “excessive force” of the attack, the flamingo had to be euthanized.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Joseph Anthony Corrao of Orlando