TAMPA – Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo recently announced the successful hatching of several avian species including an African penguin and Demoiselle crane.
An endangered penguin chick hatched June 2 to fourth time parents “Thumbelina” and “Flannigan” who have been paired for several years. Their most recent chick, “Tapanga,” hatched in May 2013, and is part of the Zoo’s rookery of more than a dozen penguins. The newest chick will soon transition from care by its parents to zookeeper care to facilitate independence and learning to swim, before ultimately joining the colony. Once on exhibit, the chick will be easy to spot.
A demoiselle crane chick hatched June 4, the second Demoiselle hatchling in the last 12 months. The first chick, a male, was fostered by two Florida sandhill cranes. This fostering technique has been used in bird species when parent birds lack experience. The male was successfully reintroduced to its biological parents last fall. The newest chick is being parent reared and can be seen in the Sulawesi Aviary in the Asian Gardens habitat.
Spring was a busy time for the Zoo’s aviary department, including several additional hatchlings:
• Two Nicobar pigeon chicks in March/April, who fledged in May/June (Main Aviary);
• Two red-legged seriema chicks on June 7 (Main Aviary);
• Two spotted whistling duck chicks on June 18 (Wallaroo Station); and
• An endangered Tarictic hornbill chick in April, who fledged on June 10 (presently not on exhibit).
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit LowryParkZoo.com or call 813-935-8552 for information.