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For Pink Floyd, Utah is still the place

Chilean flamingo attracts a loyal, local following

When you're named Pink Floyd and you are an attractive, long-legged flamingo who has adopted a well-known Utah landmark as home, you draw a loyal following.

So loyal that Floyd's several dozen groupies believe the bird needs some support.

Namely, from the governor, to give Floyd a little more companionship than he now receives from the scores of local seagulls on the Great Salt Lake, where the Chilean flamingo took refuge after escaping from Salt Lake City's Tracy Aviary in 1990.

In a letter scribed by "Friends for Floyd" and delivered to Leavitt this week along with a namesake bumper sticker, a pink flamingo lawn ornament and proclamation in the bird's name, they ask the governor to clear "the way for the citizens of Utah to begin accepting flamingo companions for Pink Floyd. . . ."

The proclamation they asked the governor to sign would dedicate the Great Salt Lake as a Wild Flamingo Sanctuary and seek 1,200 of the aquatic, web-footed birds to keep Floyd company — and draw tourists.

In an accompanying letter to Leavitt, "The Friends" offer the governor incentive to pen his name honoring their request.

"Imagine yourself," they write, "30 years into the future, you, former governor now, are driving south on the property aligned (with) Legacy Highway. Off to (the) west, a flight of 1,200 flamingos has just lifted off The Lake and taken to the skies. It is a brilliant blue sky, clear air morning, and it is a spectacular visual experience.

"You feel very good about this because it was you that signed The Proclamation creating The Great Salt Lake Wild Flamingo Sanctuary.

We ask you to read, accept, and sign The Proclamation at the earliest possible moment."

As of Tuesday, Leavitt had not signed the proclamation.

But, in their optimism, "Friends for Floyd" are selling bumper stickers and pink flamingo lawn ornaments at Dancing Cranes, 673 East Simpson Ave. (2240 South), to raise money to buy friendly flamingo companions for Floyd from other Utah areas, such as Hogle Zoo and the Tracy Aviary, as well as a Tampa, Fla., amusement park and basically, said Friends for Floyd spokesman Jim Platt, "every zoo in every state in the country."