king vulture chick hatched to parents 33-year-old Junior and 17-year-old Princess
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – There’s a new King at Brevard Zoo! Nope, not lions (yet). A king vulture chick hatched to parents 33-year-old Junior and 17-year-old Princess on March 30. The parents appear to be attentive and protective over the chick, whose gender won’t be known until their first exam in a few months.
Princess laid the egg in early February. She and Junior both incubated the egg – and both care for the chick. The yolk sac gets absorbed by the chick within 24 hours of hatching, after which the parents will regurgitate their food for their baby.
We have been making sure to provide the family unit with an array of food items to choose from. The chick will be cared for by their parents for about four months and then stay close by for about a year.
King vultures’ natural range is in the tropical forest of Central and South America. While this species is currently listed as vulnerable, evidence shows that king vultures in these areas are in decline due to habitat destruction and poaching.
With avian influenza (HPAI) still a concern for our area, unfortunately, the young vulture family is not visible to Zoo guests at this time in their Rainforest Revealed habitat. We hope this changes soon!
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