Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has hatched its first flamingo chicks in six years.
The charity Zoo is known for its flock of some 50 Chilean flamingos, which can be found on a lagoon near the entrance. Two chicks have just hatched, with the parents protecting them from both the weather and predatory gulls.
The chicks are small and pale and fluffy – in fact, they couldn’t look less like tall, pink adult flamingos right now, but give it a year or so… Curator of Birds Jo Gregson: “They don’t breed every year and the make-up of the flock changes over time, but now we have a number of birds of breeding age – and the long, hot summer might well have helped, too!”
Paignton Zoo has a good record with this species; some of the birds are approaching their 50th birthdays. Jo again: “People think flamingos are soft and delicate because they’re pink, but actually they are tough birds that have evolved to live in a tough habitat.”
The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) comes from Chile but is also found in southern Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and southern Brazil, and can be found in brackish or saltwater lakes and lagoons. This large bird is classed as Near Threatened. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 0844 474 2222.