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Zoo Atlanta Hatch First-Ever Lappet-Faced Vulture

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: June 4, 2021 3:40 am

Lappet Faced Vulture Chick Atlanta

The newly hatched lappet-faced vulture chick at Zoo Atlanta

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta are excited following the first hatching of an endangered lappet-faced vulture chick in their history. The success comes 10 years after the parents Amana and Anubis first met.

Male Anubis has called Zoo Atlanta home since 2008 and was joined by Amana in 2010. The pair came together on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Lappet-faced Vulture Species Survival Plan® (SSP).

The pair have had many unsuccessful attempts to raise a chick before this one. Over 8 years they have produced 12 unfertile eggs.

Lappet Faced Vulture Chick Atlanta

The newly hatched lappet-faced vulture chick with its keepers at Zoo Atlanta

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

“The birth of an endangered species is always an occasion for celebration, but this hatching represents a particular success for Zoo Atlanta,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation.

“We are always thrilled to see first-time animal parents succeed. This is also a testament to the enormous commitment of our Bird Team, who have worked over a period of many years to provide opportunities and innovations to help this pair flourish.”

A vital part of maintaining the pair bond with these birds is nest-building. The care team constructed a nesting platform in the birds indoor area where it was protected from the elements. Each day the birds were given sticks and twigs to form their nest with.

Despite producing two eggs this season that were infertile the final egg turned out to be the lucky one.

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Due to Amana and Anubis being inexperienced parents the bird team removed the egg for artificial incubation. Their egg was replaced with an artificial one with which they could practice their incubation technique.

After 54 days the chick hatched on April 24th. Keepers raised the chick for 10 days before reuniting it with its parents. They have since been caring for their chick well and it is healthy and gaining weight.

Listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the lappet-faced vulture needs significant conservation action to prevent their demise. They are threatened by poisoning and collision with man-made structures.

They are native to Africa where vulture populations have declined 80% over the past three decades.

Lappet Faced Vulture Chick Atlanta

The newly hatched lappet-faced vulture chick at Zoo Atlanta

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Learn more about Zoo Atlanta on their website – Zoo Atlanta

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