Back-to-Back Beginnings at Blackpool Zoo
Meet Kaladi the Orphan Sea Otter

Chick in Boots!

Born last week and standing a mere 4 and 1/2 inches (12 cm) tall in these photos, this tiny African Crowned Crane is being hand-reared by keepers at Paradise Park in the UK. Note that the little booties are in place to speed the process of unfurling the crane's naturally curled feet, and thereby helping it learn to toddle quicker. The chick's name is easy to remember - "Little Crane."

Grey-Crowned-Crane-and-keeper-Mark-by-Michelle-Turton

Grey-Crowned-Crane-and-keeper-Mark-2-by-Michelle-Turtona

Grey-Crowned-Crane-and-keeper-Mark-2-by-Michelle-Turton

Curator David Woolcock explains “In the past, the female parent of this chick has not done very well when she has laid a clutch of eggs inside rather than outside her hut. So when this happened again, and with this species having been recently upgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ status, we made a decision to remove the eggs and incubate them ourselves. We were delighted when one hatched. So the keepers are now full time mums with 2 hourly feeds and giving some much needed tender loving care to this little one.”

Grey-Crowned-Crane-Look-at-me-by-Michelle-Turton

“For the first few days we put small bandages on the chicks toes as they were slightly curled, and this just helped straightened things out. The bandages have now been removed and the toes are just fine. The chick is doing very well and is currently off show, although can sometimes be seen on the grass in front of Glanmor House at the centre of the Park as keepers take the chick for a walk to help strengthen those legs.”

Grey-Crowned-Crane-Keepers-TLC-by-Michelle-Turton

“We expect that the chick will be weaned late August at which point it will be introduced to a unpaired partner we have at the Park as a companion. The chick will grow from just a few inches to over four feet in height in just a few months. It will have a high protein diet, including mealworms, to help the rapid growth, although it has to be weighed each morning to ensure that it does not put on more than 10% of its bodyweight daily,  otherwise its body becomes too heavy for the ever growing legs and they give way under the strain!”

Grey-Crowned-Crane-close-up-by-Michelle-Turton

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