|Saint Louis ZOO
in Forest Park
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
First Babies Born at Saint Louis Zoo
Two critically endangered Edwards's pheasants, also known as Vietnamese pheasants, hatched on New Year's Day and Jan. 4, 2016 at the Saint Louis Zoo's Bird House. photo courtesy KC Donaldson/Saint Louis Zoo
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 6, 2016 - Two critically endangered Edwards's pheasants, also known as Vietnamese pheasants, hatched on New Year's Day and Jan. 4, 2016 at the Saint Louis Zoo's Bird House.
Since these are the first offspring for the inexperienced parents, the chicks are being hand-raised behind the scenes in a private area of the Bird House.
These hatchings aren't only the first of the new year, but the first for this species at the Saint Louis Zoo. Native to the rain forests of central Vietnam, remaining populations are extremely small and declining due to habitat loss and hunting. They may even be already extinct in the wild. There has been no record of the bird since 2000.
The small chicks weigh about .75 ounces each and have golden brown plumage. Adults are about half the size of wild turkeys, with the male having distinctive all-black plumage with a blue gloss and metallic fringes, white crest and red skin around the eyes. The females are generally chestnut-brown with no crest.
A king penguin chick weighing just 9 ounces hatched at Penguin & Puffin Coast on Jan. 2. The chick is being reared by its parents Nathan and BB in the public habitat, but may not be visible to visitors for a few weeks. Another king penguin chick, which hatched on Nov. 30, is starting to make appearances now that it's almost too large to fit under its parents.
A king penguin chick hatches after about 55 days; then its parents continue to keep it warm under their belly flap for 30-40 days until it grows too large to cover. They continue to share feeding duties for about eight months. It is not yet known if the chick is a male or female. This handsome bird is one of the largest penguin species. As an adult, it weighs about 33 pounds, second only to the emperor penguin.
The Saint Louis ZOO is home to more than 3,000 animals and features Jungle of the Apes and Big Cat Country. Additional attractions include the Emerson Electric Children's Zoo, The Living World educational center, River's Edge, "Penguin & Puffin Coast," Monsanto Insectarium, Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel, sea lion shows and bird house.
Accent your office, restaurant, hotel or home with exciting images of St. Louis. For a fine art print of the 1904 World's Fair Bird Cage, see stlouisphotos.com
The World's Fair Flight Cage at the Zoo and the Saint Louis Art Museum, located north east of the Zoo, are the two structures remaining in Forest Park that were built for the 1904 World's Fair. Photos highlighting the 1904 World's Fair can be seen at the Missouri Historical Society, located in the Jefferson Memorial Building in Forest Park.
Non-summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. General admission to the Zoo is FREE. Parking on the Zoo's two lots is $15 per day. Parking for buses, motor homes and R.V.s is $30 and is available on the South Lot only. Some events and special programs may have an admission cost.
Note: Coolers and picnic baskets are permitted on the Zoo grounds. There are picnic tables located in central areas at the Zoo. All major facilities are wheelchair accessible, as are most restrooms. Wheelchairs and strollers are available to rent at The Living World and South Gate. Wheelchairs: $7 per day; motorized vehicles (limited number) available to those 18 years or older with a major credit card: $25 per day; single strollers are $7 per day; double strollers are $9 per day. For more information, please call 314-781-0900, 1-800-966-8877 or TDD: 314-768-5421.
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