18/04/2024

A pair of African marabou have given birth to two healthy baby marabou, for the first time ever at Antwerp Zoo

A pair of African marabou have given birth to two healthy baby marabou, for the first time ever at Antwerp Zoo

  Zoo Antwerpen’s African marabou count just went up by 2. This moment is extremely special for the zoo because this is the first time that baby marabous are born at the zoo. Thus, they happily announced the birth news on their Facebook. This news took everyone by storm. These two eggs were laid in a nest which the keepers thought wasn’t good enough.After 29 days, right on time, the eggs hatched. Two chicks, still without the typical hairy skull of the adult, but with the speckled neck-sac.

The marabou is a type of stork that lives in sub-Saharan Africa, large in stature – up to 152cm and weighing 9kg. It often lives close to humans, and likes to scavenge for food on dumping sites. It is also sometimes known as the undertaker bird, because of its dark plumage and lugubrious manner. The babies, one zoo employee reported, have inherited their parents’ looks. Although these little birds did not have hair rather they had their typical speckled neck-sac. These birds are beautiful in their own way. Another name for them is the undertaker bird. Such a cool name isn’t it? This bird surely stands out. They can easily sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ near humans. As they eat from the garbage. This species most unique factor is its shrill call as according to a keeper it resembles a donkey sound in cold weather.

The most distinctive factor about them is the 12-foot wingspan. Whereas in comparison to males their females are a bit smaller in size. Other than this they look alike. One cannot confuse them with other birds. Native to tropical Africa the places they are native to are Uganda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Senegal, Namibia, and Eritrea. Other than this they love wetlands, semi-arid savannas, and grasslands. These social birds are often found near garbage dumps and fishing villages.

Marabou in the wild have no ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇ eating carrion or food left in the ʀᴜʙʙɪsʜ tip. In the Zoo, however, they are fed fish, beef, insects and even baby male hen chicks, which would otherwise go into the blender to be turned into animal feed. The adults partially digest the food, then regurgitate it for the young, who serve themselves off the floor of the nest. During the breeding season, they gather in groups. The male African marabou stakes out his territory and inflates his throat pouch when newcomers arrive. He then pairs up with a courting female. The pair usually ᴍᴀᴛᴇs for life. In addition to this, they build their nest on a cliff, in a tree, or even a building. These unique birds are waiting for your arrival at the  Zoo!

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