Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Odd Couple!

Kookie & duckling (re-sized) Kookie with tiny duckling (re-sized)

This is an exceptionally unusual friendship – these images were captured earlier this morning. The larger chick is a young Kookaburra Dacelo navaguinae, recently abandoned by its parents and being hand-reared by the Animal Care Team at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. The smaller of the two is a rare, endangered Madagascar Teal (Anas bernieri) duckling that hatched in the Park yesterday. The duckling has adopted ‘Kookie Kookaburra’ – whether as a sibling, or as its mother we’re not entirely sure. Whatever the reasoning, this is an extremely unusual relationship between two very different species -especially because an adult Kookaburra would be likely to prey on a small duckling. Perhaps the driving force between these two young creatures is their mutual need for warmth and closeness. Madagascar Teals are very difficult to raise successfully – so we’re really hoping that Kookie the Kookaburra may just make the difference between life and death for this tiny, rare duckling.

Kookie & Mad Teal Duckling (cropped & re-sized)

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