Many flight attendants are used to passengers making unusual requests, but one Alaska Airlines flight attendant was given a very unexpected task: saving some rare flamingo eggs aboard a flight.
Now, in thanks for saving the flamingos, she’s been rewarded with an adorable honor…
Amber, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant of 10 years, was working on a flight from Atlanta to Seattle in August, when the most unusual request came in.
“A passenger rang the call button and asked if I would help keep some eggs warm,” Amber recalled, according to an Alaska Airlines press release.
They weren’t just any eggs: they were rare Chilean flamingo eggs, being transported from Zoo Atlanta to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The flight guest had brought an incubator to keep the eggs warm, but it stopped working, putting the birds’ lives in danger.
But Amber stepped up and quickly improvised a plan to save the eggs. She filled rubber gloves with warm water, which the zoo official wrapped around the eggs to make a warm nest. Other guests offered their coats and scarves.
Amber remained attentive throughout the flight, replacing the gloves with warm water. “I was glad to help,” Amber said.
Thanks to her help, all the flamingos survived and successfully hatched at the Woodland Park Zoo. “I was honored and so happy that the chicks had hatched—all six of them!” Amber said.
Months later, the zoo decided to thank the flamingo’s savior — and surprise her with a very special honor.
Amber and her baby granddaughter Sunny were invited to the zoo, provided with an exclusive tour — including a close-up meeting with the newly-hatched Chilean flamingos.
Though they haven’t yet developed their signature pink plumage and instead have gray feathers, they’re adorable and standing tall on their own long legs.
And in a special tribute, the zoo named one of the flamingos “Sunny,” after Amber’s granddaughter. “Having baby Sunny meet flamingo Sunny was just wonderful,” Amber said in the press release. “I am excited to see them both grow up.”
“We are forever grateful for the heroic measures Amber took to help keep our precious flamingo eggs warm and viable,” said Gigi Allianic of the Woodland Park Zoo. “This means the world to our zoo family. They would have been lost if you hadn’t gone above and beyond for us.”
The six newly-hatched Chilean flamingos are the zoo’s first since 2016, bringing their flock to 49. The Chilean flamingo is considered a near-threatened species, with a declining population due to egg-harvesting and hunting, as well as a degradation of habitat, so in-captivity breeding programs are vital to keeping the species alive and thriving.
Thank you to Amber for your quick thinking to save these rare flamingo eggs! It must be so special to see these birds growing up and know you helped them survive.
Please share this heartwarming news if you love animals! ❤️🦩