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Ostrich chicks given a helping hand on our UmPhafa Reserve
Unfortunately, since the introduction of ostriches onto our UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve and despite the adults producing large clutches of eggs and successfully hatching them, there has been very little success rate to date in the survival of their chicks. This was due to the level of predation which has been so high that none have survived.
Therefore, this year the decision was made to assist the adults and help them to protect their chicks from predation by raising the chicks ourselves in a protected area. Although we do our best to let nature take its course, on any game reserve irrelevant of size of the area, animals still have a perimeter fence therefore human management of populations is inevitable and necessary.
Rangers on our reserve rescued two groups of chick, 16 in total, at an early stage and they are safely housed in an outdoor enclosure on the reserve. During early stages of their development, the chicks were moved into a warm inside area overnight as they had not grown their feathers and did not have the warmth of their parents to keep them at a comfortable temperature during the night.
We have throughout the whole process tried to keep human interaction to a minimum to ensure when they are big enough to be released back onto the reserve that they will not depend on humans. They are fed, watered and left to forage in their outdoor area.
All 16 chicks are doing incredibly well and the rangers hope to release them when they are large enough to be able to fend off any possible predator attacks.
5.00pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 4.00pm
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