Friday 19 October 2018

Puppet plays mother as zookeepers hatch plan to save endangered magpie

Experts in Prague believe a puppet is better qualified than humans to teach the facts of life to the adorable chick.

A keeper using a glove puppet imitating a parent feeds a baby critically endangered Javan green magpie in Prague, Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)
A keeper using a glove puppet imitating a parent feeds a baby critically endangered Javan green magpie in Prague, Czech Republic (Petr David Josek/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Zookeepers in the Czech Republic have turned to a puppet in an effort to save the critically-endangered Javan green magpie.

Officials saved one egg after the parents threw a second out of their nest.

The magpie chick which hatched a month ago is being kept in a box and fed using a puppet that imitates a parent bird.

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A keeper closes a box after feeding an endangered Javan green magpie (Petr David Josek/AP)

Prague zoo’s bird keeper Antonin Vaidl says the puppet is being used to ensure the bird will be capable of breeding, which it will not be if it gets used to people.

Mr Vaidl said the puppet does not have to be a perfect imitation of an adult bird because the baby responds to certain signals, such as a red beak, black patches around the eyes and a bright green background.

Press Association

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