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Zoo Atlanta Hatches Their First Wattled Crane Chick

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 11, 2020 9:30 pm

Wattled Crane Atlanta

The wattled crane chick in its exhibit

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta has celebrated the hatching of the first wattled crane chick in their history. The chick has been monitored by the bird team since it hatched on May 31 2020 and is growing well.

Wattled cranes are reportedly difficult to breed in captivity making the birth even more special.

This chick hatched after a 36 day incubation period and is being cared for by its parent. Currently the male appears to be the main caregiver though the female is also said to be defensive and will brood the chick over night.

“Zoo Atlanta is thrilled about the hatching and continued successful development of the newest member of our bird population, especially given this is a species that is known to be challenging to reproduce in zoological environments,” said Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Collections and Conservation. “Wattled cranes are a large and magnificent species representing a very important ecosystem in Africa. We look forward to watching the chick grow.”

Wattled Crane Atlanta
Wattled Crane Atlanta

The wattled crane chick in its exhibit

Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Wattled cranes are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The parents of this chick were brought together as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program aims to ensure the long-term viability of this species in captivity.

Populations of these birds have fallen across their range due to habitat destruction, over collection of their eggs, human disturbance and they are also sensitive to pesticides.

Wattled cranes are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and are considered the world’s second tallest crane. An adult crane may stand up to 1.5m (5ft) tall.

Learn more about Zoo Atlanta on their website – Zoo Atlanta

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