Now, they’ve been given a new lease of life by taxidermists who have prepared the pair for display at the South Australian Museum.
They were unveiled to the public Friday night in an event at the museum called “Birds of a Feather: (Frock Together!)” – conceived in partnership with Adelaide’s LGBTQ+ festival Feast, which has been “celebrating diversity across the natural world” this November at the museum.
The flamingos were formerly much loved residents of Adelaide Zoo in South Australia. Greater was believed to be one of the oldest flamingos in captivity in the world and died at the age of 83, while Chile was in her 60s when she died.
Due to a moratorium on the importation of flamingos to Australia, Chile and Greater were the last two of the species to ever live in Australia – and their return in taxidermy form will be a welcome one for many.
Flamingos have not existed in the wild in Australia since the last ice age – they’ve only lived in zoos in the nation since and Greater was brought over in the 1930s. Chile was believed to have been brought to Adelaide Zoo in the 1970s, the zoo said.
An attack on Greater in 2008 by two 17-year-old boys, which left the bird badly injured, prompted an outpouring of public emotion.
It was long presumed that they were both male flamingos – until it was discovered that Chile was female. They have been adopted as an emblem of the Feast festival and the LGBTQ+ community in South Australia.
Greater and Chile will now live on in their preserved form for all to see at the South Australian Museum.
CNN’s Teele Rebane contributed to this story.