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Zoo's New Flamingos Displayed


GRIFFITH PARK — Four gray, fluffy baby flamingos can now be seen stretching their legs--and wings--among their pink adult counterparts at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Pauly, KC, Tattoo and Sid, who were hatched and raised in incubators, walk and explore the green grass under their webbed feet for about an hour each day. Zoo visitors can watch the exercise on weekends from 1 to 2:30 p.m. through Aug. 29, officials said.

On weekdays, a sign will be posted near the flamingo exhibit to announce exercise time.

The four, who range in age from 4 to 6 weeks, were taken from their nests before they hatched, to ensure their survival.

"Right now they're very imprinted on the keeper, but when we put them back into the exhibit, they'll just become part of the regular flamingo flock," said Lora LaMarca, the zoo's marketing director.

Zookeepers syringe-fed the hatchlings a liquid diet for the first month. The chicks will soon begin to replace their gray down with brownish-gray feathers.

"They look a little silly now because they have part down and part feathers," LaMarca said. "It's kind of like molting."

They won't develop their pink color until they're about 4 years old.

This marks the first time in six years that zookeepers are caring for baby flamingos, officials said.

The zoo has other hatchling flamingos that are being raised by their parents in the free-flight exhibit.

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