Rare chick hatches at Central Park Zoo
The hatching of this member of the cuckoo species makes the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo only the fourth zoo in the U.S. to successfully rear a crested coua chick.
Native to the island of Madagascar, the animals are born with markings on the inside of their mouths that are unique to each individual chick. Experts believe the markings are used by the bird’s parents for identification, or as a target for feeding them. They will begin to fade as the chick matures.
There are only about 40 crested couas living in American zoos.
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher, Wildlife Conservation Society
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I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that. What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets. As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
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