"I was honored and so happy that the chicks had hatched — all six of them!," the flight attendant said about meeting the birds
A flock of flamingos had to wait to hatch to meet their hero.
According to a news release from Alaska Airlines, one of the airline's flight attendants, Amber, saved six rare Chilean flamingo eggs on an August flight from Atlanta to Seattle. After months of waiting for the eggs to hatch, Amber recently met the birds she rescued and learned one of the flamingos was named in her honor.
Amber recalled to Alaska Airlines how the unconventional flamingo rescue started. While working as an attendant on the August flight from Atlanta to Seattle, Amber answered a passenger's urgent plea for help.
"A passenger rang the call button and asked if I would help keep some eggs warm," she said in the release.
The individual in need was a zoo official transporting the flamingo eggs from Zoo Atlanta to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo in an incubator. The zoo official told Amber the incubator had failed and they needed help keeping the eggs warm to protect them.
Amber sprung into action. She resolved the issue by filling rubber gloves "with warm water," which the zoo official placed around the eggs. Other passengers offered their coats and scarves to provide "extra insulation" for the makeshift nest.
"I was glad to help," the flight attendant noted, adding that she and other crew members continually checked on the flamingo eggs during the flight and replaced the gloves "as the water cooled."
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The flamingo eggs made it off the plane safely, but it wasn't until a few months later that Amber learned what ultimately happened to the flamingos inside the eggs.
Amber recently received a call from the zoo asking if she wanted to meet the flamingos she saved, to which she agreed, bringing her granddaughter Sunny in tow.
"I was honored and so happy that the chicks had hatched—all six of them!" she said, according to the release.
Amber and Sunny met the baby flamingos courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo, which offered the pair an exclusive tour complete with a "meet and greet" with the chicks. Photos shared by Alaska Airlines show Amber bending down to get a better look at the animals with her granddaughter.
Gigi Allianic with Woodland Park Zoo shared in the release: "We are forever grateful for the heroic measures Amber took to help keep our precious flamingo eggs warm and viable. This means the world to our zoo family. They would have been lost if you hadn't gone above and beyond for us."
To honor Amber's dedication to the animals, the zoo named one of the six flamingos after Amber's granddaughter, Sunny.
"Having baby Sunny meet flamingo Sunny was just wonderful," Amber said, per the release. "I am excited to see them both grow up."
Public polls helped determine the names of the other five flamingos: Magdalena, Amaya, Rosales, Gonzo, and Bernardo. The zoo noted in a news release that the flamingos will eventually take on their signature pink hue as they grow older, and they will join the zoo's ambassador animals program, which promotes ways to support wildlife conservation.
The zoo noted that Chilean flamingos can be found throughout South America in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Uruguay.
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