Photo Credit: Akron Zoo
The Flamingo egg was laid in the zoo’s exhibit on July 25. Keepers collected the egg and placed it in an artificial incubator to increase its chances of successfully hatching. After 26 days, the chick began to hatch, but it took 36 hours for the chick to fully emerge from the egg.
About 24 hours after the Flamingo chick hatched, zoo staff began to hand feed the chick an egg-based formula several times a day.
Eggshell membranes were sent for DNA gender testing, which revealed that the chick is a female. With a current weight of about two pounds, the chick is being raised behind the scenes until she is large enough to join the flock in the exhibit. The photos show the chick at two days old (top) and 48 days old.
Chilean Flamingos are native to South America, where they inhabit shallow lakes and feed on blue-green algae and brine shrimp by straining water through comb-like structures in their beaks. Flamingo chicks are covered in gray down at hatching, but as adults they sport pink plumage. The pink color comes from the high levels of beta-carotene in their food. Chilean Flamingos are plentiful in the wild and not under threat.