Crowned Crane born at the Abilene Zoo

Crowned Crane born at the Abilene Zoo

By Callie Harris - Communications & Media Relations Mgr- City of Abilene

 

 

 

ABILENE, Texas – On Friday, August 24, theAbilene Zoo celebrated a new addition to the animal collection- the hatching ofan East African Crowned Crane. The new chick weighed in at 109 grams but nowweighs 388 grams. Though this species has been on exhibit for several years, achick has never been produced. In July, two eggs were laid in a nest inside theexhibit but the parents did not attempt to incubate them. Zoo staff gatheredthe eggs and artificially incubated them, and while one was infertile, thesecond one produced the new chick. Zoo staff are hand rearing the baby but havealso taken steps to keep the chick from thinking it’s a human. Zoo Keeper JamesMcKinney created a Crowned Crane puppet to teach the chick to eat. Thistechnique can be seen in the attached photo.  {{more}} “The hatching of the East African Crowned Craneis an exciting addition to the animal collection at the Abilene Zoo and anopportunity to see the innovation put into practice by our Zoo staff,” saidBill Gersonde, Director of the Abilene Zoo. The chick is notcurrently on exhibit but will be on display for an hour each day beginningSeptember 21. The Grey Crowned Crane is native to the dry savannahs of Africa south of the Sahara, although itnests in somewhat wetter habitats. This species and the closely related Black Crowned Crane are the only cranes that can roost in trees, because of along hind toe that can grasp branches. For more information about the animals, eventsand visiting the Abilene Zoo, go to http://www.abilenezoo.org/. TheAbilene Zoo is located at 2070 Zoo Lane and open each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.with the front gate closing at 4:30 p.m.