Cassowary Chicks Make Public Debut

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Gladys Porter Zoo staff is excited to announce that our three baby cassowaries are now on exhibit for the public to see.  Tobin, Heath and Powell are located right next to their parents at the Australian Exhibit. We can’t wait for you to meet them!

It had been 24 years since our last successful cassowary brood hatched an egg, which was in 1997.  Parents, Irwin aka Junior, our 6 year old male cassowary, is a first time dad, and Clementine, our 36 year old female, is the mother.  She laid her first egg on March 23rd and continued laying additional eggs for several weeks.  The incubation time for cassowaries is 52-56 days. The three chicks hatched on May 20th, 22nd, and 27th and are finally making their public debut after being reared behind-the-scenes by watchful animal care staff.

Cassowaries are known as the world’s most dangerous bird.  They are the 3rd largest bird in the world, growing up to 5.8 feet tall and have a large dagger-like claw on each foot. This claw grows to be almost 5 inches long, which is used to defend itself, and it can be deadly.  Southern cassowaries, or double-wattled cassowaries, are native to northeastern Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. They are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Check out some our behind-the-scenes updates from our animal care staff.

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