Flamingos are regal, but kind of dopey creatures that are known for standing on one leg for reasons that not even scientists can fully explain. If you’ve ever wanted to see them look sillier, check out these chicks, which hatched at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio recently.
The two babies hatched on June 28 and on July 7. Currently, visitors can see them at the flamingo habitat for short periods of time during regimented exercise times.
Like other animals raised in captivity, the chicks are kept with zookeepers and are hand-raised until they are able to join the flock. This is due to the threat of aerial predators such as hawks preying on chicks. In order to remove them from the parents, zookeepers replace the eggs with artificial ones and hatch them indoors.
In theory, an artificial egg wouldn’t bother an adult flamingo. In the wild, eggs aren’t always fertile and when one doesn’t hatch, the parent will walk away from the nests.
Zoo officials explain that the birds develop lifelong bonds with their keepers. The process also helps them become easier to manage for veterinary purposes.
If you can’t get to the zoo to see the little babes, then check out some more photos of these little chicks with their oversized legs.