Keepers counting eggs of endangered birds
Its name may suggest otherwise, but it's no laughing matter that keepers at Newquay Zoo are celebrating the best breeding success in the country for this rare bird.
In total, a single pair of the critically endangered Blue Crowned Laughing Thrush hatched nine healthy chicks over three clutches, in conditions created by the breeding team.
There are just 166 of the beautiful birds in captivity and an estimated 250 in the wild, leading to their "critically endangered" status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list.
The bird is native to a very small breeding range within the Jiangxi province of China, and is threatened by habitat loss, disturbance of nest sites and the caged bird trade. It is also rated one of the top ten species most dependent on zoos for survival.
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Senior bird keeper Gary Ward said: "The key to successful breeding is to create a suitable environment and choose co-habiting species with care.
"Working with such a critically endangered species is especially rewarding."