Technology

Special airlift for baby flamingos in peril in South Africa


Interested in Animals?

Add Animals as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Animals news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

A special airlift for thousands of baby flamingos is under way in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril.

PHOTO: A newly born flamingo chick struggles to walk on a dried out dam in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 27, 2019.Charne Kemp/AP
A newly born flamingo chick struggles to walk on a dried out dam in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 27, 2019.

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.

PHOTO: An aerial view of the drough-affected Kamfer Dam, in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 27, 2019.Ronsard Allen/AP
An aerial view of the drough-affected Kamfer Dam, in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 27, 2019.
PHOTO: A volunteer collects flamingo chicks at the Kamfer Dam, in Kimberley, South Africa, which has dried up due to drought, putting the birds breeding grounds in peril.Charne Kemp/AP
A volunteer collects flamingo chicks at the Kamfer Dam, in Kimberley, South Africa, which has dried up due to drought, putting the birds’ breeding grounds in peril.

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.

PHOTO: A rescued flamingo chick tries to walk in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, Jan. 31, 2019.Themba Hadebe/AP
A rescued flamingo chick tries to walk in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, Jan. 31, 2019.

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.

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.

PHOTO: Rescued flamingo chicks make use of a pool of water after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2019.AP
Rescued flamingo chicks make use of a pool of water after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2019.
PHOTO: A rescued flamingo chick is fed in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, Jan. 31, 2019.Themba Hadebe/AP
A rescued flamingo chick is fed in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam in Kimberley, Jan. 31, 2019.

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

PHOTO: A rescued flamingo chick climbs out of a box at a center in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam, Jan. 31, 2019.Themba Hadebe/AP
A rescued flamingo chick climbs out of a box at a center in Pretoria, South Africa, after being rescued from a dried out dam, Jan. 31, 2019.





Source link

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close