Pretty in pink! Flamingo chicks find their feet at Chester Zoo
Meet the fluffy flamingos that have hatched at Chester Zoo.
The first of the chicks began to break out of its shell on 25 June with 20 more arriving since, increasing the total number of Caribbean flamingos currently at the zoo to 120.
All 21 youngsters are being hand fed by zookeepers at regular timed intervals, four times a day, and will require such special attention for around another five weeks.
Mark Vercoe, Assistant Curator of Birds, said:
Hand-feeding young flamingos is a really intricate and demanding challenge, but these chicks will form part of another important breeding colony and so we need to make sure that each and every one makes it through to adulthood.
This time around we’ve decided to give them a helping hand as it’s important that we give the new flock the best possible start.
For the time being the chicks are white or grey in colour, resembling little balls of cotton wool, but they will each develop their iconic pink feathers at around six months old.
Once all of the new chicks are developed enough to fully feed themselves, the group will move to another zoo to help form a brand new colony.
The word ‘flamingo’ comes from the Spanish and Latin word ‘flamenco’ which means fire, and refers to the bright colour of the birds’ feathers
Flamingos get their pink colouring from crustaceans and algae that they eat
They are highly social birds and they live in colonies that can contain thousands of individuals
Caribbean flamingos are the largest of all five flamingo species
Notes to editors
- Chester Zoo (www.chesterzoo.org) is a registered conservation and education charity that supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. Welcoming 1.9 million visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in the UK; home to over 21,000 animals and more than 500 different species, many of which are endangered in the wild
- Chester Zoo is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside London, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)
- Through its wildlife conservation campaign, Act for Wildlife, the zoo is helping to save highly threatened species around the world from extinction. Find out more at www.actforwildlife.org.uk
- The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is a conservation, education and wildlife charity, representing over 100 of the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland
- BIAZA collections have global impact, participating in over 800 conservation projects, 1,400 research projects and contributing more than £24 million a year to field conservation. With over 30 million visitors being welcomed annually, BIAZA zoos and aquariums are recognised as offering a fun and safe way to learn about animals and together they deliver formal education sessions to more than 1 million students
- BIAZA and its members are a powerful force in the care and conservation of the natural world. Collectively they endeavour to inspire people to protect our planet’s rich biodiversity, deliver high quality environmental education, training and research whilst achieving the highest standards of animal care and welfarewww.biaza.org.uk