Photo courtesy Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens' nursery is celebrating yet another birth at the zoo.
One of the zoo's two Caribbean Flamingo eggs has hatched. The eggs were acquired from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
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The zoo does not yet know the gender of the chick.
The Flamingo hatchling is the 13th animal to be hatched or born at the zoo since May 31. The tiny bird is the first flamingo hatchling in the zoo's history.
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Dan Maloney, Deputy Director of Conservation and Education for Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, said, "Though flamingos have been featured at the Jacksonville Zoo for nearly 50 years, there has never been a recorded hatching. We are very excited to finally see a flamingo chick at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and hope to have many more chicks in the future as we build the flock's numbers."
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Zoo staff members are closely watching the chick as it gets through the early stages of its life.
The zoo brought in the new eggs in an effort to even out the ratio of males to females, in hopes that it will eventually increase the flock's numbers and productivity.
Once both chicks are well established, they will go through a process of introduction to the existing flock at the zoo.
In the first phase, the chicks will live in a small pen next to the flock's nesting area in the flamingo exhibit. After approximately eight weeks, the chicks will be allowed to spend long periods of time next to the flock. Zoo guests will have numerous opportunities to photograph the chicks as they progress through the various stages.
When flamingo chicks hatch, they have white feathers. Those feathers then turn gray and later turn pink from aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene from the birds' food.
First Coast News