Hatching of bird species is a significant husbandry success

Fewer than 40 crested couas live in U.S. zoos

Bronx, NY – Oct. 22, 2012 – ATTACHED PHOTO: A rare crested coua chick is hand-reared in an off-exhibit area at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo. The chick displays the markings on the inside of its mouth as it prepares to receive food from its caretaker. These markings are unique for each individual chick and fade as the bird matures.

The markings on the inside of a coua chick’s beak are believed to be used by the parents for identification or as a target to aid in feeding.

Crested couas are a species of cuckoo native to the African island nation of Madagascar. Although widespread in their native range, they are rare in U.S. zoos, with fewer than 40 living in American zoos. The hatching is a significant achievement as WCS’s Central Park Zoo is only the fourth zoo in the U.S. to have successfully reared a coua chick.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has field conservation programs within the crested coua’s range in Madagascar – and in nearly 60 countries and all four of the world’s oceans.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo - Open every day of the year. General Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $7 for children 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. Total Experience Admission is $18.00 for adults, $15.00 for senior citizens, and $13.00 for children 3 to 12. 4-D theater admission is $4.00 for members and $7.00 for non-members. Zoo hours are 10am to 5:30 pm, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. The zoo is located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. For further information, please call 212-439-6500 or visit www.centralparkzoo.com.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. www.wcs.org.


Max Pulsinelli (718) 220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org. 

Steve Fairchild (718) 220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org.