Fluffy flamingo chick makes history at Blackpool Zoo

A five-week-old chick has made history at Blackpool Zoo as it has become the first parent reared flamingo in the facility's 48 year history.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 12:30 pm
The new flamingo at Blackpool Zoo

Keepers have traditionally removed eggs from the flamingo nests and hand-reared the chicks in the bird nursery to stop them being stolen by seagulls.

But this year, the team removed the eggs and replaced them with porcelain copies for the birds to sit on.

The incubator eggs were monitored up to the point of hatching and then placed back in the nests to enable the parents and chick to bond on hatching.And so long-term lovers Suc and Fin have become a proud mum and dad for the very first time.

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Luke Forster, head of Blackpool Zoo’s bird section, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our plan to achieve successful parent rearing in our flock of flamingos worked so well and it is wonderful to see the chick out and about with his or her mum and dad.

“The parents of this particular chick are both more than 25-years-old and this particular species can live up to 50 or even older.

“We now have 35 Caribbean flamingos and are hoping to bring more in from other institutions before the end of the year.

“It has certainly been a busy year here in our bird department as we have also hatched a Magellanic penguin, five Blacksmith Plovers, two Eastern White pelicans, eight Spoonbill chicks, three Java sparrows, and a Mount Omei babbler; with even more eggs in nests across the zoo. We are still the only zoo in the UK to ever breed the Eastern White Pelican and have a really well-established group that is a firm favourite among visitors.

“It’s great to be sharing such good news during these uncertain times. The zoo has been through a year like no other and it is wonderful to be getting back to some kind of normality and introducing visitors to our many new feathered friends.”

The next step will be to determine the sex of the young flamingo, which is done by sending a few of its feathers to Cornwall for DNA testing.