Thursday, 16 September 2010

Madagascar Teal youngsters venture outdoors away from foster ‘Mum’ Kookie


Solent News

Regular followers of our Blog may remember this photo (of Kookie the Kooraburra chick and the tiny Madagascar Teal Duckling) – taken a few weeks ago when the three ducklings were newly hatched and Kookie was 2 weeks old.

Historically we’ve found these rare and endangered ducklings difficult to raise – they’re so tiny when they hatch that they’re extremely vulnerable to being swept away in the stream or being predated (even within the relative safety of the Park).  Therefore we usually remove them from their enclosure and hand-rear them in the warmth and safety of the incubation house.  However, the ‘catch 22’ is that their survival rate is very low without their mother.  So until this miracle relationship occurred they seemed doomed. 

And then came their unplanned encounter with Kookie the Kookaburra chick!  Although naturally predator and prey in the wild, the two very different species formed an unusual bond here at the Park – for the last few weeks they’ve been almost inseparable!  However, over the few days, since they were moved to an semi-open enclosure in pets corner (with a big tray of water) the ducklings have been spending more time on their own doing duck-like things!  Kookie (who turned out to be a male!) has simultaneously been maturing into a fine specimen of a Kookaburra and choosing (naturally) not to partake in the water-borne activities of his duckling friends.

Today was the big day for the ducklings to venture into an outdoor enclosure – with a running stream and lush green grass.  Kookie has been relocated to a beautiful new aviary nearby.  Apparently all parties have taken to this new arrangement very well  - with no signs of separation anxiety or needing any long-term connection!

Madagascar Teal Duckling (resized) 1st day outside

Madagascar Teal (resized) 1st day in outdoor enclosure

Mad Teal out in water (2) resized

Wow – look at me now – the images above, taken this afternoon, show the Madagascar Teal youngsters on the first day in their new outdoor enclosure – enjoying the running water and green grass!


I took the images below late this afternoon – to show the maturing magnificence of Kookie our unique Kookaburra!


Kookie (2) resized 15 Sept 10


Kookie (3) resized 15 Sept 10







Kookie (4) resized 15 Sept 10

1 comment:

  1. Aus der Folge "Nur ein Pieks" wo Skipper nicht geimpft werden will und deshalb versucht aus dem Zoo auszubrechen.