Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. One of the most endearing and enduring of Florida symbols is our flamingo. Yet most Floridians have never seen a live flamingo in the wild in Florida. Flamingos, other than the plastic variety, have lived in Florida and still occasionally show up in the state, especially at such places as, well, Flamingo at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula in Everglades National Park. Our flamingo is properly known as the ‘greater flamingo’ and is the national bird of the Bahama Islands where more than 80,000 of them have nested on Great Inagua. The greater flamingo has a very broad distribution, nesting in several isolated localities in the West Indies and Bahamas as well as in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and North Africa, north to southern Russia. In Florida, it's a rare species today that has a small population at Snake Bight, that's B-I-G-H-T, in Everglades National Park. A century-and-a-half ago, flamingos where much more common in South Florida and in the winter of 1879, great flocks of flamingos were seen around Charlotte Harbor.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.