Special airlift for baby flamingos in peril in South Africa

In this photo taken on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, a newly born flamingo chick struggles to walk on a dried out dam in Kimberley, South Africa. A special airlift for thousands of baby flamingos is under way in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril. A reservoir that hosts one of southern Africa's largest flamingo populations is drying up. (AP Photo)

Special airlift for baby flamingos in peril in South Africa amid drought; 3,000 moved so far

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Peaple also read these

Egypt approves law to govern popular ride-hailing...

May 7, 2018

Egypt's parliament has approved a law to govern popular ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem after the...

El-Sissi's call on Egyptians to lose weight...

Dec 25, 2018

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is demanding Egyptians lose weight, prompting allegations of...

Archaeologists find Rome-era tombs in Egypt's...

Jan 15, 2019

Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered two ancient tombs dating back to the Roman period in the...

Egyptian official says province to ban single use...

Apr 2, 2019

Egyptian province and major tourist destination to ban disposable plastics, from single use straws...

In a first, Bedouin women lead tours in Egypt's...

Apr 10, 2019

Bedouin women for the first time leading tourist groups in Egypt's Sinai, breaking new ground in...

About Us

Delivering news from all over the globe, StarJournal keeps you abreast with the greatest minds in science, be it researchers, theorists or even popularizers.

Contact us: sales[at]starjournals.com

Subscribe Now!