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Hamilton Zoo has welcomes kea chick


Hamilton Zoo has welcomed its first kea chick in 15 years.

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The unnamed chick, whose sex is not yet known, was hatched on 15 September to first-time parents, Tane (15) and Kowhai (9). The chick will take up to 13 weeks to leave the nest so won’t be visible to the public until around mid-December.

There hasn’t been breeding of kea at Hamilton Zoo for many years due to restrictions on the number of the birds able to be bred in captivity. Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley said the facility was thrilled when they were given the green light for their kea pair to breed.

“We are very excited when the recommendation to breed came through, and especially when our birds were quick to respond and produced a healthy chick,” he said.

Kea pairs bond for life and are thought to be the world’s smartest bird. They are the world’s only alpine parrot, with less than 5000 currently remaining in the wild in the New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Reports that keas were attacking sheep and feeding on their carcasses meant they were once hunted extensively, however the species became fully protected in 1986.

Earlier this month Hamilton Zoo also welcomed another new arrival, a baby male zebra named Phoenix. Born on 2 September to mum Marble and dad Bwana, Phoenix will be on display these school holidays in the savannah enclosure.


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