Colwyn Bay’s Welsh Mountain Zoo welcomes its first ever Darwin Rhea chick

The Welsh Mountain Zoo has welcomed its first ever Darwin Rhea chick.

The Darwin Rhea is part of a group of flightless birds known as ‘Ratites’, which also includes the Emu and Ostrich.

The species is known to be a particularly challenging to breed in captivity, marking a double celebration for the Colwyn Bay based zoo.

The chick, which has been named Suri, the name given to these birds in their native habitat of South America, hatched during lockdown and can be seen by visitors exploring its enclosure always under the watching gaze of mum and dad.

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Welcome to the world! Picture: Welsh Mountain Zoo

Darwin Rheas can lay up to 30 eggs, but unlike most other birds, it is the male that incubates and rears the chicks.

Kim Wood, director of living collections at the zoo, said: “This is fantastic news for the Zoo. The Darwin Rhea is threatened with loss and fragmentation of habitat, hunting and egg collecting and so breeding in captivity is incredibly important, ensuring we can help conserve the species, by boosting captive populations.

“Mum, dad and baby are all doing well and we are monitoring them closely as the chick continues to grow.”

The Darwin Rhea are ‘super fast’ runners and can hit speeds of up to 60 kph.

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