Abilene Zoo welcomes new East African Crowned Crane chick

By Kelly Killian, Kelly Killian, kkillian@ktxs.com
POSTED: 10:33 AM Sep 07 2012
East African Crowned Crane chick
ABILENE, Texas -

The Abilene Zoo has a new mouth to feed.

On Friday, Aug. 24, the Abilene Zoo welcomed an East African Crowned Crane hatching. The new chick weighed in at 109 grams, but now weighs 388 grams. This is the first East African Crowned Crane chick to be born at the Abilene Zoo.

Two eggs were originally laid in a nest inside the exhibit in July, but the parents did not attempt to incubate the eggs. Zoo staff then began to artificially incubate them. One egg was infertile, the other resulted in the chick.

Abilene Zoo staff are raising the chick by hand, but have taken steps to make sure the chick knows it's a Crowned Crane. Zoo Keeper James McKinney created a Crowned Crane puppet to help teach the chick how to eat.

“The hatching of the East African Crowned Crane is an exciting addition to the animal collection at the Abilene Zoo and an opportunity to see the innovation put into practice by our Zoo staff,” Bill Gersonde, Director of the Abilene Zoo said.

The chick will go on display for an hour per day starting on Sept. 21.

For more information, visit www.abilenezoo.org