First sarus crane hatched at Denver Zoo

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DENVER — The first chick of the tall flying bird sarus crane was hatched at the Denver Zoo last week, officials said Thursday.

The chick, whose sex is unknown, was hatched on the morning of Aug. 17. It has not been named.

The chick as well as first-time parents mother Violetta and father Alfredo can be seen by the public at the zoo. Officials said the chick is growing stronger each day.

The chick’s egg was found July 15 by zookeepers before it was moved to the Avian Propagation Center for artificial incubation. The parents were given a dummy wooden egg to brood.

Officials said it was done to give the chick the best chance of survival.

After being hatched, the chick was returned to its parents, who have been seen brooding and feeding it worms.

Sarus cranes grow to nearly 6 feet tall, and are native to Southeast Asia and Australia. Their bodies are almost all gray and white except for their red necks and heads.

The species is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.