Rare northern bald ibis chicks hatch
Lead keeper Steve Williams cradles one of Chester Zoo’s recently hatched northern bald ibis chicks.
The species is classed by conservationists as being critically endangered, meaning they face an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. The northern bald ibis, which is sometimes referred to as a ‘waldrapp’ ibis, was once common throughout Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East.
However due to habitat loss and hunting of their eggs and chicks, it has vanished from Europe, leaving diminished populations in Morocco and just a handful of these distinctive birds in Syria.
Keepers at the zoo check on the development of their new arrivals by weighing them on a daily basis.
Mr Williams said: “Some consider them to be one of the zoo’s uglier species but given that they’re so rare, we think they’re real beauties."