ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska Pacific University is helping people in and around Anchorage get some fresh air while practicing physical distancing with the help of a friendly pink flamingo.
Fernando the 'social distancing' Flamingo can be found on and around APU trails, where trail-goers can take physically-distant selfies with their new feathered friend and post them on Fernando's Facebook page.
In addition to serving as a mascot for physical distancing and a scavenger hunt treasure, Fernando also posts trail updates and safety tips for getting outside while following state mandates in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"There's people that giggle when they see him, they're like 'oh my gosh, what a surprise, there's like a bird on the trail.' He's gotten quite the attention on social media, people posting pictures with their face masks on and we really appreciate the visits, and local visits, and again, the scavenger hunt is one thing, but if we can get a smile from someone's face in these tough times, that is a goal accomplished for Fernando," said APU outdoor programs manager, Raina Panarse.
The scavenger hunt goes until the end of May, and prizes will be given out for the best selfies in June. You can post your Fernando on Facebook, @fernando.flamingo.apu.
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