Wed, Sep 11, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Taipei Zoo’s flamingo hatchlings learning to swim

By Shen Pei-yao and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A family of flamingos is pictured in an undated photo taken at the Taipei Zoo. A total of nine baby flamingos have been hatched at the zoo this year.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei Zoo

Flamingo chicks born last month at the Taipei Zoo are doing well and learning to swim, the zoo said on Monday.

Those who would like see the chicks swimming should visit the zoo soon, as the chicks must learn to swim before the summer ends, it said.

Flamingos begin teaching their hatchlings to swim shortly after they leave the nest, with the adults guiding their young to shallow areas of water near the shore, it said.

The hatchlings learn very quickly and are able to keep up with the adults in a short amount of time, it added.

In the wild, flamingos tend to roost in salt water lagoons and salt fields, or inland in large salt water lakes, it said.

Flamingos can be found in Africa, South America, India and the Middle East.

They live along sandy coastlines and on sandbars, where they forage for aquatic plants and invertebrate marine life, the zoo said.

Sometimes they will suck up soil and extract organic material from it for food, it added.

However, the young flamingos are not the only hatchlings in the zoo’s aviaries: There are also nine swan chicks.

A more nutritional diet for the birds, and a lack of typhoons to disturb birds during the mating season were likely reasons for this year’s large number of hatchlings, the zoo said.

Typhoons have often caused flooding in the zoo’s aviaries and affected the nests of water fowl, while inclement weather also affects birds’ mating behavior, it said.

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