Say hello to Gary and Norman - our rare nene geese

We are celebrating the hatching of the world’s rarest geese with the preservation of two of the UK’s rarest names.

Following the Office of National Statistics’ revelation that some classic names may die out soon, we have christened our two new nene chicks Gary and Norman, in a bid to rescue the names from extinction.

Bird keeper, Kylie Abraham, 28 from Llanteg, said:

“We like to follow different themes when naming the animals. Our penguin chicks for example have taken inspiration from Simpson characters and even types of ice cream. As the nenes are the rarest geese in the world, with just 1,000 birds remaining in the wild, it’s only fitting these birds were given a name as rare as their status. Folly Farm is committed to conservation, launching enclosures such as Kifaru Reserve, home to two critically endangered Eastern black rhinos, and we thought why stop there, let’s help save the Garys and the Normans as well!”
Kylie and nene geese

We originally acquired the geese from nature reserve WWT Slimbridge which has been instrumental in the nene’s conservation. Our latest additions hatched approximately eight weeks ago, and have since been spending time with their mother exploring their new surroundings.

Kylie continued:

“As a species, the parents are very protective over their young so we tend to leave them to it, only checking up on them to monitor their weight and carry out a quick health review. The mother sits on the eggs for about a month while the father acts as a guard, hissing and chasing anyone that comes too close to his new family. They live in grassland habitats and are currently sharing their home with a herd of sitatunga antelopes. Gary the goose and Norman the nene are finding their feet and spending their time chasing after each other and grazing on wheat and shrubs. We hope that when families hear their names this might spark a new trend and in years to come Garys will be found in schools across the UK!”