Our local Abilene Zoo was so elated to announce the birth of a very rare Secretary Bird a couple of weeks ago. While this is not unusual to the Abilene Zoo Staff, a couple of these very rare birds were rarely born inside the Abilene Zoo.

The new chick was born on Saturday, April 6th, 2024. What makes this birth even more stunning is that this is the second bird born of these parents named Pam and Jagger inside the Abilene Zoo confines. Nearly one year ago Stan was born and now he's got a sibling.

Pam and Jagger are said to be  "a very bonded pair," as they are on loan from the Denver, Colorado Zoo as part of their 'breeding program'. Simply put, it means that zoos are working toward breeding to grow and strengthen the population of those endangered species.

While secretary birds are a rare species and not common to most zoos they are known for their striking appearance and behavior. Gary Birds are native to central and southern Africa and they inhabit the tall grasslands.

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What is remarkable about the secretary Birds is that they have a role as snake-eating raptors, utilizing their long legs to stomp and kill the snakes before they devour them. Other than that they are a very beautiful, remarkable, and friendly bird.

The Abilene Zoo is only one of 12 zoos across America to even have Secretary Birds in their Zoo's population. Furthermore, San Diego, San Antonio, and the Abilene Zoo together have bred five chicks total, in the past twelve months according to Philip Nigro, the Animal Care supervisor at the Abilene Zoo.

Phillip Nigro, went on to say, “Being a part of this program with other institutions helps in securing the population of secretary birds for future generations .” Source: Abilene Zoo Press release-Marlen Salazar

Finally, the gender of the chick is still not known, and the reason it has not been named yet. The chick is currently resting and spending most of its time in the nest on exhibit and will be old enough to explore its surroundings.

Come visit the Abilene Zoo and meet the newest baby secretary bird and all its friends who reside at this awesome West Texas Zoo. remember they are open 7 days a week at 2070 Zoo Lane, Abilene, Texas, or to learn more, visit abilenezoo.org.

Photo by: Rudy Fernandez
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

LOOK: The Abilene Zoo From A to Z

Here's a close-up look at the animals that call the Abilene Zoo home.

Gallery Credit: Rudy Fernandez

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