Learn more about our youngest animals here at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
In early June, two female Florida cranes at the Zoo adopted the chick of a Eurasian crane. When a pair of Demoiselle cranes in Zoo's Sulawesi aviary seemed not to know what to do with their first egg, quick thinking zookeepers slipped the egg under a female sandhill crane nearby in the Lykes Florida Wildlife Center. The egg hatched May 25, 2013 and the male chick was raised by the female sandhill cranes.This fostering technique is used in other bird species to help build up populations or when parent birds lack experience. Like sandhill cranes that migrate long distances – from Nebraska to Florida -- Demoiselle cranes also travel great distances, from western Eurasia to winter in Africa and from Mongolia high across Himalayan mountains into India. Though the wild population is presently abundant, it is in decline. Demoiselle cranes were quite common in zoos at one time, however that is not the case now.
The chick was introduced to its biological parents in the Sulawesi Aviary in the Asian Gardens on August 1st. The introduction went very smoothly and the pair accepted the chick very quickly. We hope that he will continue to bond with them and learn to be a Demoiselle crane and not a Sandhill crane.