Pitter patter of webbed feet at London Zoo
Thursday 11 May 2006
Two tiny Madagascar Teal ducklings are delighting visitors to London Zoo’s African Bird Safari walk-through exhibit
Two baby Madagascar Teal ducklings are proving to be popular additions to London Zoo’s African Bird Safari walk-through exhibit.
The ducklings hatched two weeks ago and have wasted no time getting to know their home by waddling around the enclosure after mum and dad.
The pair are part of a captive breeding programme that works to conserve the endangered species.
Weighing only a few grams at the moment, the fluffy ducklings will be transferred to other zoos once they reach adulthood.
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Notes to editors
The Madagascar Teal was first discovered in 1860 but so few were seen that the species was said to be re-discovered in 1969.
The species is currently endangered, primarily because of a declining population.
The entire population of fewer than 1,000 birds is now confined to the wetlands of western Madagascar.
An international breeding programme was set up in 1993 on the recommendation of the conservation breeding specialist group of the IUCN.
The ducklings’ parents have been at London Zoo for a number of years after being transferred here from Jersey Wildlife Park.
African Bird Safari:
African Bird Safari is a walk-through exhibit that opened last year (2005) giving visitors to London Zoo the opportunity to get closer to a number of African birds including the Madagascar Teal, superb starlings and Von der Decken’s hornbills.
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity: our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide. For further information please visit www.zsl.org
0207 449 6280