A rare male red-crowned crane chick has hatched at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, and is on exhibit with his parents in the crane habitat within the Australia/Asia section of the Zoo. The chick 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).
Red-crowned cranes are waterbirds from Northeast 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.
“This birth is critical, because these cranes are so endangered in the wild,” said Jan Steele, General Curator for the Zoo. “Yuki and Akai are exhibiting ideal parenting behavior. Both of them have taken an active interest in both incubating and raising this chick, and the chick is flourishing in the crane exhibit.”
“We hope this new chick’s birth can help our guests become more aware about the plight of these endangered cranes,” Steele continued.
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.