Toledo Zoo is showing a little more leg.
The Ohio zoo recently welcomed two American flamingo chicks. The baby birds both hatched on July 10, according to a Facebook announcement from the zoo. After a week of waddling around the zoo, each fluffy chick weighs around 100 grams and is close to 5 inches in length.
The currently unnamed flamingos, who were both artificially incubated, are the second and third of their species ever born at the Toledo Zoo. Both birds are currently being hand-reared off exhibit by keepers.
“Flamingo hand-rearing is very common in zoological facilities,” Chuck Cerbini, curator of birds at the zoo, told the Toledo Blade. “We do it because we can more closely monitor the health and development of the chicks.”
Once the birds are a bit older and more comfortable walking on their own, they will join the main flock at the zoo’s Flamingo Key. This will likely happen in late summer or early fall.
It will also be a few months before keepers know the sex of each baby flamingo.
Though each chick started out at just 5 inches tall, the birds could grow up to be 5-foot-tall flamingos.
The zoo is keeping a close eye on the new arrivals, making sure that the chicks don’t gain weight too quickly.
“If they gain too much weight, they could develop issues with their legs,” Mr. Cerbini said. “We’re monitoring them very closely. Young birds are very sensitive and could be prone to infections at a young age.”
Once the birds make their public debut, they will be easy to spot amongst the flock. Baby flamingos stay gray in color for over a year and don’t fully gain their famous pink coloring until they are about 1.5 to 2 years old.