Thirteen isn’t always an unlucky number – especially if it refers to the 13 baby flamingos welcomed at the Fort Worth Zoo this year.
Lesser flamingo hatchings from January through March were successful, the zoo announced Tuesday.
The Fort Worth Zoo has hatched 196 chicks since the program started in 2002. The zoo used to struggle with breeding when lesser flamingos were housed in an outdoor, natural habit. In order for more breeding to occur, the zoo added heating lamps, a pool and mirrors to the exhibit, which brought improvement.
Many other habitat alterations have had the opposite effect, which is primarily why lesser flamingos are listed as near threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, according to a news release by the Fort Worth Zoo. These birds are also difficult to breed in captivity, reproducing the least out of all flamingo species in U.S. zoos.
The baby flamingos will join over 500 other animal species currently housed at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Partly due to its lesser flamingo breeding program, the Fort Worth Zoo has been nominated as one of USA Today’s 10 best zoos in the country. To vote for the zoo in this contest, click here.