Share

Special airlift for baby flamingos in peril in South Africa

Share

KIMBERLEY, South Africa (AP) — A special airlift for thousands of baby flamingos is under way in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril.

A reservoir that hosts one of southern Africa’s largest flamingo populations is drying up. The flamingo eggs are losing their cool, moist protective cover and their inner membranes are hardening, making it difficult for chicks to peck their way out. Predators such as meerkats, dogs and hawks are nearby, waiting for the exhausted chicks to emerge.

The site is littered with the bodies of hundreds of dead chicks. The cheeps of chicks trapped inside overheating eggs can be heard.

Local and national groups, along with environmental authorities, have stepped in for the rescue operation swiftly organized online and by word of mouth. Bird experts and veterinarians have pitched in.

Local diamond mines paid for an emergency flight to carry the first batch of 900 chicks to the capital, Pretoria. Other batches have been flown to Cape Town and other approved locations.

Trending:
US Forces Scramble to Intercept Russian and Chinese Bombers

Three thousand flamingo chicks have been moved in all. Another 6,000 to 8,000 young flamingos remain at the reservoir near Kimberley, active but still too young to fly. If the water levels keep dropping, experts said, the parents might abandon the chicks to save themselves.

The chicks in new homes face a special diet of baby cereal, sardines, eggs, prawns and vitamin supplements.

To simulate parents, feather dusters are placed in the chicks’ boxes. Interaction with humans is restricted beyond feeding to minimize imprinting. Infrared lights give warmth.

Some of the chicks’ rescuers are already thinking about next year and what to do if drought occurs again.

___

Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation