Fans and Facebook followers of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens were in for a treat when the page began live streaming a flamingo hatching early this morning. The Facebook live video feed streamed from the zoo’s Wings of the World incubation room and a zoo guide provided step-by-step commentary so those watching could follow along. The zoo houses greater flamingos, and they currently have many chicks ready to hatch. According to the zookeeper, the chick that hatched today was pulled early. There were two videos live streamed. The first video begins close to complete hatch, and together, both videos lasted approximately one hour. Unlike some other viral videos showing animal births, the Cincinnati Zoo video includes sound. Not only can you hear the zookeeper’s commentary, but people asked questions. You can also hear the baby chick chirping and squeaking while still inside the egg.
As soon as the Facebook live stream started, it began to go viral. By the time the flamingo finished hatching and several hours had passed by, both videos had been viewed hundreds of thousands of time. At last check, the combined total for both videos was more than 1 million views. You may watch both videos that show the greater flamingo hatching at the Cincinnati Zoo below.
Though there are many flamingo species, the greater flamingo is the only one that lives at the Cincinnati zoo. The greater flamingos derive their name due to their size. They are the largest of all flamingo species. You may see more videos from the Cincinnati Zoo regarding greater flamingos below.
Watch a Playlist Featuring Flamingos from the Cincinnati Zoo
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According to the zookeeper, today’s egg was the first flamingo to hatch this season. The zoo has a colony of flamingos and a second egg was laid yesterday. Because the egg had been laid early and the other birds in the colony weren’t nesting, there were concerns about the chick’s safety. They pulled the egg and brought it into the nursery where it hatched. It will be hand raised and fed formula for approximately four months. After the chick is weaned, he or she will be returned back to the colony. The other egg is expected to hatch in the colony.
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The whole hatching process from the first pip to a live flamingo can take anywhere from 24-72 hours. The entire incubation period is roughly 28 days and the chick hatched on day 29. Zoo keepers have a busy schedule ahead. They will feed the chick every three to four hours and once the flamingo is ready, he or she will take daily walks for exercise. Zoo staff also announced they will find a companion for the baby so he or she won’t be lonely.
— Leslie Mostrup (@LeslieMostrup) May 9, 2017
Baby flamingos are not born with their vivid pink feathers. Instead, they are a whitish shade of gray and their pink feathers change as they age, according to their diet. The flamingos at the Cincinnati Zoo will eat a diet of krill and shrimp, and as the chick grows, his or her feathers will become pink.
The flamingo’s gender will remain unknown and can only be determined through a feather sample or blood test. According to the Cincinnati zookeeper who spoke during the live video feed, the gender should be revealed in approximately two weeks.
When asked if there would be an issue because the egg was taken away from the mother, the zookeeper assured listeners that the chick would be reintroduced. She explained that the timing was off and that they like to have the colony nest at the same time. This way all of the chicks hatch simultaneously. This chick hatched approximately one month before the rest of the eggs will hatch. That factor put the egg in jeopardy.
What did you think of the videos? Did you enjoy watching the flamingo hatch via Facebook live?
[Featured Image by Jeff McGraw/Shutterstock]