Posted on August 24

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Zoo is thrilled to announce the first greater rhea chicks hatched to the zoo on record. The yet unnamed chicks, arrived August 3 and 5 and are less than 3 weeks old.

“Within greater rhea flocks, the males take on the dominant parenting role, by building nests, incubating eggs and caring for the newly hatched chicks,” says Colleen Baird, General Curator, Calgary Zoo. “Our male, Jekyll has been doing an amazing job and we are so pleased to be able to contribute to this threatened bird species.”

The greater rhea is flightless and the largest bird in South America. Related to the ostrich and emu, they are near threatened and part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) which is designed to ensure genetic diversity and safeguard a species-at-risk population. In the wild, rhea populations are declining due to hunting, habitat loss and fragmentation. Conservation efforts are focusing on illegal trade and protecting the birds’ remaining natural habitat.

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Trish Exton-Parder
Lead, Media Relations
Calgary Zoo
Phone: 403.232.9325
[email protected]