First American flamingo egg laid at Florida wildlife sanctuary successfully hatches

Credit: Joe Raedle

Credit: Joe Raedle

An American flamingo egg was laid and successfully hatched at a South Florida sanctuary last week, WFOR reported.

The flamingo chick was hatched Aug. 1 at Flamingo Gardens Wildlife Sanctuary and weighed 88 grams.

Three eggs were collected from the flamingo flock and were artificially incubated. This was the first egg to hatch, WFOR reported.

“This is the second time in 15 years that the flamingos laid eggs, but each time the eggs were infertile,” said Michael Ruggieri, director of animal care at Flamingo Gardens. “We were astonished when we came into work and went to rotate the eggs and we could hear one calling out, and could see that it had pipped a hole through the egg.”

When the chick is large enough to survive on its own it will join the flock at the Flamingo Pond, WFOR reported. Until then, it will be monitored closely by staff members. The chick will be available for viewing by the public.

“Raising a flamingo is a tedious process. It takes a lot of time and multiple feedings to care for them properly,” said Laura Wyatt, wildlife curator at Flamingo Gardens. “Humidity and temperature must be monitored carefully for flamingo offspring to survive. They are hearty, yet fragile birds when young so they must be handled very gently.”

There are 14 adult American flamingos at the sanctuary. There also is one Chilean flamingo and four Greater flamingos, WFOR reported.

Flamingos have been hatched at the sanctuary before, but none were laid on the premises. The sanctuary raised 11 American flamingo eggs received from Hialeah Racetrack in 2002. Two of those flamingos are the parents of the newest chick, the television station reported.

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