Chester Zoo welcomes new flamingo chicks

Video: Chester Zoo now has 112 Chilean flamingos

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The Independent Online

Only a week since the unveiling of two new baby red pandas, Chester Zoo has welcomed the arrival of Chilean flamingo chicks.

The chicks began to hatch on 18 July with 13 more arriving since then, bringing the zoo's total number of Chilean flamingos up to 112.

Scroll down to watch the video.

Noting the lack of a pink tint in the chicks' feathers, the zoo's curator of birds, Andrew Owen, said "Their trademark pink feathers won’t start to show for about six months - instead the chicks have a mix of grey and white feathers. They’re like fluffy tennis balls with legs at the moment.

"After initially staying really close to their parents, the chicks are now gaining in confidence and some have even started to wade in the water around their island."

Owen noted that the Chilean flamingo was an intriguing species given that it was unknown whether the bird chose different mates over the course of its life or how long it bred for. Chester Zoo's group of Chilean flamingos are part of a long-term study to find out more about the species.

Surprisingly, Chilean flamingos are found in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador but not in Chile.

Due to habitat loss and the poaching of their eggs, the Chilean flamingo is a near threatened species.