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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birds of a feather: Hand-reared baby ostrich is kept company by a stuffed toy after his parents abandon him

By Daily Mail Reporter

Feathered frends: At just 10 inches tall the stuffed toy towers over the unnamed ostrich

Abandoned by his mother and found dumped in the rain, zoo keepers were so worried about this tiny ostrich being lonely they decided to give him some fluffy company.

And staff at Folly Farm in Wales, with a little help from the radio, have managed to put the 10 inch ostrich at ease by placing the slightly taller toy in his pen.

This is the first baby Ostrich to be cared for at the Welsh Farm for more than four years as poor weather during the breeding seasons has stopped incubation due to excess moisture in the nests.

The baby is feeding independently and is growing well in the Folly Zoo Hospital where it is also kept company by the radio.

Zoo Manager Tim Morphew said: 'The baby had recently hatched and was left alone in the nest in the pouring rain as the mother had gone for shelter.

Two's company: Keepers worried about the abandoned baby put this stuffed toy in with him to make him feel at ease

'It was very wet and weak and the difficult decision was taken to hand raise the bird as the mother wasn't displaying maternal behaviour and this would be its best chance of survival.

'The baby is now growing well, is very alert and feeding independently so eventually we will be able to re-home it at another zoo or introduce a second group of Ostrich at Folly Farm as having been hand raised it is unlikely the baby will be able to return to its group.'

Did you say something? The stuffed toy has made the unnamed orphan ostrich feel more comfortable



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