SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Zoo is celebrating the recent arrival of some of its newest residents, all of which are South American natives, according to zoo officials.
The two most recent arrivals are a pair of Chilean flamingos that recently hatched from their eggs, zoo officials said.
The first chick was born on Sept. 17, while the most recent one was born on Sept. 24, and zoo officials believe there may be even more eggs that will produce chicks.
The breeding season for Chilean flamingos can extend into October, with incubation taking about a month, according to zoo officials.
The young chicks are normally born with a white and gray down covering and their parents take turns feeding them red “crop milk” for the first three months. However, in about two or three years, the chicks will lose their gray color, at which time they’ll be ready to be parents themselves, zoo officials said.
Factors that are causing Chilean flamingos in the wild to be threatened include egg harvesting, hunting, disturbance and the degradation of its habitat, according to zoo officials.
The zoo is also celebrating another recent addition, the birth a female guanaco, back in August. The animal is currently at the main exhibit at the zoo’s Puente al Sur area.
The young guanaco, or chulengo as it is also known, is in excellent health and took its first steps within an hour of being born, zoo officials said.
The chulengo’s mother “Milagro” is eight years old, while its father “Cusco” is three years old. Both are first time parents.
The chulengo is expected to stay with its mother for about a year, according to zoo officials.
Guanacos are closely related to camels, llamas, alpacas and vicunas. In their native South America, guanacos are considered to be the largest wild mammals on the continent, zoo officials said.
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