Sunny the flamingo was among the six eggs saved by a flight attendant’s quick thinking. Here’s what Sunny looks like post-hatch.
CNN  — 

A Seattle zoo shared a story that just may be our favorite this month: it’s about six flamingo eggs, a midair rescue effort and a heartwarming reunion. Consider us tickled pink.

It all started on an August 2023 flight.

Six flamingo eggs from Atlanta’s zoo were chosen to be transported to the Woodland Park Zoo, in Seattle, which had older flamingos that were past their breeding age.

The plan was simple: a Woodland Park zookeeper would transport the six eggs from Atlanta to Seattle on a roughly six-hour flight, using a portable incubator to keep the eggs warm.

But during the flight, the incubator stopped working.

The zookeeper quickly looked for help and as Alaska Airlines flight attendant Amber May approached, the passenger made an unusual request.

“(The) passenger rang the call button and asked if I would help keep some eggs warm,” May said in a statement posted by the airline. She wasted no time: May went to the plane’s galley, found rubber gloves and began filling them with warm water, the airline said.

May brought back the gloves to the zoo official and they wrapped the gloves around the eggs, forming a warm nest. But that wasn’t all: airplane guests who were seated nearby began offering their coats and scarves for extra insulation, the zoo said.

May said she continued to check in on the eggs throughout the rest of the flight, and replaced the gloves with new ones when the water inside them cooled, according to the airline.

“The flamingo eggs would not have survived in a non-functioning portable incubator for five hours,” Joanna Klass, a Woodland Park Zoo animal care manager, said in a news release. “We’re so grateful for the creative thinking that led to the safe transport of our precious eggs.”

Zoo officials say May’s actions – and the help of the other passengers – helped save the six flamingos’ lives, who eventually hatched into healthy birds the following month.

A flamingo named ‘Sunny’

The six Chilean flamingo chicks were the first to hatch at the Woodland Park Zoo since 2016, the zoo has said.

After the birds hatched in September, they were “hand-raised” by expert bird keepers, who fed them and took them on walks every day to help them get exercise, the zoo said.

Months after May’s smart thinking helped save the eggs, the flight attendant received a call from the zoo with an invitation: they asked her to come meet the flamingos she saved – and to name one of them, the zoo said.

She named the male flamingo “Sunny,” after her granddaughter who had just been born. The other five flamingos include one male, Bernardo, and four females Magdalena, Amaya, Rosales, and Gonzo.

May and her granddaughter met the the flamingo chicks at Woodland Park Zoo last year.

May and her granddaughter were invited to the zoo to meet Sunny in November, a zoo spokesperson told CNN. (Zoo officials shared the story this month as they were waiting for all the birds to be named, the spokesperson added.)

And yes, the pictures of that meet-and-greet were just adorable.