Turns out Derek the Flamingo chick is actually female
Keeper Becky Waite who has been hand-rearing Derek explains “DNA analysis of the egg shell has confirmed that Derek is in fact female. The initial nickname Derek has become so popular with staff and visitors that we have decided to keep it”
Originally back in August Derek’s parents had stopped incubating about a week too early. So Keepers decided to put the egg in an incubator not knowing if it would hatch, but within days the egg started chirping – Derek hatched successfully on 19th August! Keeper Becky Waite hand-reared Derek until she was 22 days when she was able to stay at the Park full time and caring for her started to be shared with other Keepers.
Becky continues “A new pen has been built and this will give us the opportunity to slowly introduce her to the main flock. We will be taking her out on exercise walks each day weather permitting.”
The flock here at Paradise Park was very small until last summer when five flamingos arrived from Slimbridge Wetland Centre. With a bigger flock size we were in a stronger position to achieve breeding success.
We are hopeful that this is now the beginning and look forward to more chicks hatching in the future.
We have a ‘Flamingo Chick Update’ blog with behind the scenes photos, some lovely videos and news on Derek’s progress .