Thai zoo successfully breeds critically endangered vulture
In a rare scientific achievement, a zoo in northeastern Thailand has successfully bred an Asian King vulture, only the second time in history this critically endangered species of bird has been bred in captivity.
Also known as the red-headed vulture, the Asian King vulture disappeared from the wild in Thailand three decades ago. Globally, the number of all vultures has been decreasing drastically, but especially the red-headed vulture.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the red-headed vulture population has essentially halved every other year since the late 1990s. Once a plentiful species numbering in the hundreds of thousands, the Asian King vulture has come dangerously close to extinction in less than two decades.
There are less than 9,000 red-headed vultures in the world, and most attempts to breed them in captivity have been unsuccessful.
Nonetheless, the Korat Zoo in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province overcame the odds. The zoo said that a female vulture named Nui and a male vulture named Jack have successfully bred, producing an egg that hatched into a red–headed vulture chick. Thailand has just six Asian King vultures in captivity.
The Korat Zoo’s team closely monitored the pair after Nui laid her first egg on January 17. The zoo placed the egg in an incubator for about 50 days hoping for a better chance of survival. Their efforts were rewarded when on March 8, the baby vulture was born.
Nui laid another egg on February 26, and this time, the team has allowed the mother to care of it herself, hoping for good news about a second vulture chick soon.
Photo courtesy of https://korat.zoothailand.org/animal_view.php?detail_id=274&c_id=