Researchers believe there are fewer than 200 of the birds remaining in the wild (Chester Zoo)
Two highly endangered red-billed curassow chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo in what has been hailed as “significant moment” for the species.
Fewer than 200 of the birds remain in the wild, with Chester Zoo describing them as “one of the world’s rarest bird species”.
“This is such a significant moment for us, and for the species”, said Andrew Owen, curator of birds at Chester Zoo.
“These magnificent birds are on the verge of becoming extinct in the wild, with estimates of less than 200 left in the wild.”
He added that the species is declining “due to habitat loss, forest fragmentation and deforestation”.
“When we saw that the parents had produced eggs we were overjoyed, but we quickly noticed that the female wasn’t sitting on them and, with the birds being so rare, we just couldn’t take any chances,” Mr Owen continued.
“We stepped in and decided to artificially incubate them ourselves. Once hatched, we carefully returned the chicks to the parent birds for rearing and they were quickly welcomed back into the family”
“These two chicks are very important additions to the global population and the conservation efforts to help save this unique species from extinction.”