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Ball of Fluff 16 July 2004

Some lucky visitors to the Wildlife Park recently have been delighted by a little ball of white fluff in with the pink flamingos. The baby flamingo was only hatched on July 7th and has been closely brooded by the parents ever since. The chick has only been visible when the adults change shifts or, to the sharp eyed, when it pops its head up from beneath a wing.

That is all set to change in the next few days when the chick will be big enough to leave the nest and begin exploring its new environment. It will still be fed by the adults until it is about a month old and at three months old will be more recognizable as a flamingo.

The Chilean flamingos at the Curraghs Wildlife Park were moved in 2002 to an enclosed aviary since previous hatchings at the Park had been lost to predators. At the same time the flock was considerably enlarged, the extra birds purchased with a generous donation from the Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park as their Millennium Project.

Nick Pinder, General Manager of the Wildlife Park, explained:

"The theory is that the new young birds will learn about mating and nesting and chick-rearing from the few mature ones and for them to breed so soon after being moved means that that learning process will have much more chance of long-term success."

Chairman of the Friends, Mr Roy Howarth, commented on the arrival of the new chick:

"It is splendid news and very gratifying that our hard work raising money has paid off so handsomely and so quickly. Increasing the size of the flamingo flock was not a high priority for the Park management and this project shows how effective the Friends can be. We're on a recruitment drive at the moment and anyone interested in joining should get a leaflet from their local library or from the Wildlife Park itself."

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