This Vietnam pheasant chick – and others like it hatched recently at Paignton Zoo – could be the future of its species.
Bird keepers at the charity zoo are based in the Avian Breeding Centre, commonly known as the ABC. The chick is being cared for here; while it’s preferable for chicks to be parent reared, keepers will step in to give nature a helping hand when needed.
Another six (unrelated) Vietnam pheasant chicks are being reared by their parents in an off-show holding area. A video taken by keeping staff offers a rare glimpse into this hidden world.
Paignton Zoo is part of a project (along with World Pheasant Association, Vietnature and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) to reintroduce the Vietnam pheasant to its South East Asian forest home. It appears to have been wiped out locally; no one has seen one in the wild since 2000. The charity zoo is home to several pairs of this Critically Endangered species; there are also some at sister zoo Newquay Zoo. They are all part of the international breeding programme.
Without putting too much pressure on this delicate new arrival, the survival of the species could rest with the birds Paignton Zoo and others hatch in the coming years. Paignton Zoo is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 01803 697500.
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