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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flamingo chick bests zookeeper in a foot race

Posted by: Alissa Wolken, Communications


The flamingo chick who needed a second chance is now in first place. Take a look at the 7-week-old chick's impressive running skills.

Hatched in August, the third flamingo hatching of the year, this chick started life in a precarious situation. The egg was found unattended so zookeepers took it behind the scenes to incubate safely. Once hatched, the chick had a dedicated team of zookeepers and animal health staff ready to give it the care and attention it needed to thrive.

“In less than two months it’s gone from receiving up to five feedings a day to being fully weaned. The chick now weighs a little over 2 pounds and is big enough to go on longer walks, with keepers, in safe outdoor areas off public view," said zookeeper John Samaras.

Throughout the day, zookeepers hold exercise sessions with the chick to encourage it to walk and stretch to strengthen its growing legs. "When it’s at an appropriate age and size, we’ll begin to introduce the chick to other members of the flock," John added.

Four Chilean flamingo chicks hatched at the zoo this year; two chicks are currently being parent-reared in the colony and another chick is also being hand raised off public exhibit. A total of 15 chicks have hatched since the exhibit opened in 2008. The zoo currently has 42 Chilean flamingos.

Woodland Park Zoo supports the Flamingo Research & Conservation in Southern South America project through its Wildlife Survival Fund. The project focuses on research, management, conservation, capacity development, and outreach activities at key sites throughout the flamingo distribution range. Continued monitoring is necessary in order to track conservation status of lowland wetlands, and to determine factors driving flamingo use of these wetlands.

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