A rare male red-crowned crane chick at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has been named through a 24-hour Twitter naming contest, and the public has chosen Kakashi as the chick’s new name. The name means “scarecrow” in Japanese, paying homage to the native habitat of the endangered species. Twitter users could tweet the Zoo @palmbeachzoo and hashtag their choice among three naming options chosen by zookeepers: Kaze (wind), Tobu (fly) and Kakashi (scarecrow). Kakashi is pronounced kuh-KAH-shee (http://www.forvo.com/word/kakashi/).
The three-week-old chick is on exhibit with his parents in the crane habitat within the Australia/Asia section of the Zoo. He was born May 21, 2014, to mother Akai and father Yuki. This is the first chick for the two crane parents. The birth was part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Yuki and Akai are both approximately five feet tall. Akai is twelve years old, weighs 15.4 pounds, and came to the Zoo in 2003. Yuki is five years old, weighs 17.6 pounds, and came to the Zoo in 2009. Red-crowned cranes are waterbirds from East Asia, and are among the most rare cranes in the world. The species is severely endangered in their native habitat, with scientists estimating fewer than 3,000 remaining.