The Chester Zoo is pleased to announce the hatching of a Victoria Crowned Pigeon, a member of the Pigeon family that can grow to the size of a turkey.
Native to the western Pacific nation of Papua-New Guinea and nearby islands in Indonesia, the Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is listed as “Vulnerable” to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
These ground-dwelling pigeons sport mainly bluish-grey feathers with a maroon breast, lacy blue crests on their heads, and eyes with distinctive red irises. They can grow up to 80cm (31 inches) in length and can weigh as much as 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs).
The Chester Zoo in Upton-by-Chester, Cheshire, England opened in 1931 and is one of the largest zoos in the UK. As of 2016 it housed over 20,000 creatures from approximately 500 different species, many of them considered to be endangered.
“Along with the Nicobar pigeon and the tooth-billed pigeon, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a descendant of the dodo – a bird that has been famously lost from the planet because of the actions of humans,” stated Mark Vercoe, Assistant Curator of Birds at the Chester Zoo. “Hopefully this chick can help us to highlight how important it is that we act for wildlife now; we cannot possibly let these beautiful birds go the same way as their extinct cousins.” (via Chester Chronicle)