Dye of death: Pigeon painted pink for misguided celebration dies after attempted rescue from NYC park

A domestic pigeon that was dyed pink and then released into the wild has died, the nonprofit caring for him said Tuesday.

A good Samaritan spotted the king pigeon in Madison Square Park late last month severely malnourished and turned him over to the Wild Bird Fund, an organization that rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in the city. A rescuer later named the poor bird “Flamingo.”

The group tried and failed to remove the dye, believed to be for human hair. It was concerned the toxic coloring, which comes with a strong odor, was damaging Flamingo’s respiratory health.

When staff went to check on Flamingo on Tuesday morning, he was dead.

“Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night,” the Wild Bird Fund said in a tweet. “We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins.”

The nonprofit noted even if he had not been dyed, Flamingo was “barely older than a baby” and would not have survived in a city park with other wild pigeons.

The Wild Bird Fund believes the pigeon was released into the wild to mark a celebration.

“ ‘Dove releases’ sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road,” the organization said. “This is no way to celebrate anything.”