October Begins

October 1, 2009 § Leave a comment


As the end of September draws nearer we are beginning to feel the on-set of winter more and more. It seems that our animals here at the zoo are no different, as breeding has now stopped or slowed down for many species. Read on for an update on our flamingos and to find out which species our keepers have been mixing things up for this week!

The 4 Chilean flamingo hatchlings that we announced earlier in the summer are still with us, and are doing very well indeed. At 3 months old, they are now beginning to develop some pink feathers on the underside of their wings. Look out for them strutting their stuff!

We are also pleased to announce that yet another chick has hatched! This late arrival is still small with a thick coat of grey, fluffy feathers, and can be seen wandering around the nest site! Interestingly enough, the adult birds caring for the chick are not its actual parents. This sneaky pair were so desperate to parent that they actually ‘stole’ the chick from its natural parents! The keepers have been keeping a close eye on this little one and are happy that the chick is being cared for well. In this instance they have chosen not to interfere with this unorthodox approach to parenting!

There is still 1 egg on the nest site which could potentially hatch in the future, so watch this space for more news!

 Flamingo chicks at 3 months old

Flamingo chicks at 3 months old

You may recall that 2 new drills arrived at Edinburgh Zoo earlier in the year. Since then, we have reported on keepers’ efforts to slowly mix the 2 new females with our existing group of drills. Initial introductions went well, and finally, on the 14th September all 5 drills spent the night together. We are happy to say that the next morning, all 5 were found healthy and well, and without injury!  Since then, the new five-some have been spending extended periods of time together, but have not yet moved in permanently together. We have our fingers crossed for future breeding from this group, as drills are Africa’s most endangered primate.

 Would you want to spend a night with this?!

Would you want to spend a night with this?!

This week has also seen red river hog dad, ‘Hamish’ mixed back in with mum, ‘Belle’ and their two new little bundles of joy! They have been playing happy families ever since, and we can report that Hamish has not tried to squash the little ones at all!

In fact, you would never have guessed that just one year ago, things were not so rosy for this funny pair. When Hamish first arrived at the zoo and was mixed in with Belle, she did not give him the most friendly reception. In fact, she was so put out by this change in circumstance that she decided to deliver a nasty bite to a particularly sensitive area of Hamish’s anatomy!

After this, Hamish was moved out of Belle’s way and in with ‘Djembe’, our male bongo. Djembe and Hamish got along fantastically, and spent the best part of last summer together. However, last September we welcomed 2 young female bongos to the zoo, and they were eventually mixed in with Djembe and Hamish. Naturally, Djembe’s attentions became focused on the new ladies in his life, and so keepers saw this as a great opportunity to try and mix Belle into the equation once again. Under the watchful eye of the Bongos, Hamish and Belle’s relationship began to flourish. And the rest as they say, is history! We just hope the Bongos may follow their example now! 

 Batchelor boys Djembe and Hamish

Batchelor boys Djembe and Hamish


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