Another European Breeding Programme success story…
The zoo team are celebrating the arrival of three adorable African grey crowned crane chicks as part of the European Breeding Programme for the species – the latest arrivals in what can only be described as a recent baby boom for the park!
Not only have we welcomed a vasa parrot chick and patas monkey infant ‘Swift’ on the zoo, as well as a litter of rare breed Middle White piglets on the farm in recent weeks – this latest arrival is another proud moment for the animal care team. Made even more special by the fact the African grey crowned cranes are listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List due to the destruction of their habitat in the wild.
New chicks Farkle, Fergus and Felicia hatched on the 2, 3 and 4 September to proud parents Frasier and Fiona. Both crowned crane parents share the parenting duties for their young – and even share the task of building the nest and take turns in sitting on their eggs.
Crowned crane chicks are precocial, unlike many species, meaning they can walk and move around as soon as they hatch – and even start trying to feed themselves. Fiona and Frasier however – spend time collecting bugs and feeding them to their babies and the three adorable chicks are growing stronger and more confident each day.
Crowned cranes are a large bird – and extremely loud! They make a honking noise which is often used when they are displaying to potential mates. Although it also comes in handy when warning off anyone who dares come too close to their chicks. The species is also the national bird of Uganda and features in their flag.
Through our membership of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), we belong to over 30 managed breeding programmes. These programmes manage the population of animals across member zoos and ensure records are kept up to date as well as making breeding and movement recommendations. This ensures zoos have the healthiest animals available in case a particular animal is at risk of becoming extinct in the wild.