Zoo flamin­gos a world first

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Two flamingo chicks hatched at Auck­land Zoo are a world first.

They hatched on De­cem­ber 27 and Jan­uary 8 and are the first bred in Aus­trala­sia and the only chicks known to have been bred from a com­pletely hand-reared flock.

The sex of the new ar­rivals is not yet known and they are yet to grow the pink feath­ers the birds are famed for.

Auck­land Zoo’s flock of 16 flamin­gos was hand raised at Eng­land’s Wild­fowl and Wet­lands Trust be­fore ar­riv­ing in New Zealand in 2001. It is New Zealand’s only flock.

Hav­ing no con­tact with adult flamin­gos mean the birds learnt their sur­vival skills from hu­mans. These chicks will also be hand-raised.

The zoo’s Pride­lands team leader Nat Sul­li­van has been mon­i­tor­ing the chicks’ progress.

‘‘It is a priv­i­lege to be part of the first hatch­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘They’re do­ing re­ally well com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each other which may be why the se­cond chick is mak­ing even faster progress than the first.’’

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