The shoebill is the only female of the species in the UK and has a wingspan of up to 2.4 metres.
The extremely rare bird was picked up two weeks ago at Exmoor Zoo’s animal sanctuary in Devon, England, and is looking for a mate to keep the species alive.
Apo, as she is named, is the only female of the Shubil species in the country and was welcomed to the zoo through an international breeding program designed to save animals of her kind.
Conservators breed the male of the breed to provide it in England, which justifies his journey to the country. Abu was born and lived for 14 years at the Biry Taiza Zoo in Belgium.
“We are adopting Abu as part of a European breeding program where there are more boys than girls,” he said. Derek Gibson, Newsweek’s curator from Exmoor Zoo. “So the idea is that if we can keep her well and she thrives, when we get a male he will join us at Exmoor Zoo.”
“The thing is, there are only 3,000 to 5,000 shoebills in the wild – that’s not a huge number. We’re talking about a very endangered bird,” he explained. Chemicals in the rivers, intensive agriculture and of course climate change, the shoes have run out of places to go.”
The bird attracts attention for its strange appearance. At 1.2 meters tall, the Apo has a wingspan of 2.4 meters, weighs 12 kg and has a very peculiar beak – which gives it its name.
“There was a lot of interest in Abo – rightly so, she’s beautiful to look at,” he said. Gibson.
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