New baby Toucan chick welcomed at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

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DRAPER (ABC4 News) – Loveland Living Planet Aquarium welcomes new baby Toucan chick after the creation of a breeding program to help save this colorful bird.

It’s a beautiful bird. Some know it as the sulfur-breasted toucan, and others the rainbow-billed toucan, it’s the national bird of Belize and its population is declining.

The bird’s real name is the Keel-billed Toucan. They’re a social bird, hang out in flocks in the forest and their version of dueling involves smacking beaks. They also play ball with each other by throwing fruit at each other, one will toss and one will catch.

One of the parent birds of the new baby toucan. Courtesy Loveland Aquarium

They have announced the birth of a new Keel-billed chick.

According to a press release sent out from Loveland:

The Aquarium expanded its aviary three years ago to create the best breeding conditions possible for this threatened species but also knowing it would be rare for the birds to breed at the Aquarium. On average, about six Keel-billed toucan chicks are born each year at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facilities nationwide. This toucan species prefer to build their nests high in the trees. The Aquarium built a nesting box and hung it near the top of the aviary, hoping they would make use of it.

ABC4 has loaded a video of the parent birds sent to us by the aquarium.

“The current population of Keel-billed toucans is decreasing in the wild, so we are thrilled to see that our toucans are breeding and have a chick,” said John Wright, Curator of Mammals and Birds at the Aquarium.

The Aquarium staff is monitoring the chick via webcam and is expecting it to emerge from the nest in August. The new baby is not viewable by the public yet, but guests can see the mother and father flying around at the aquarium.

According to Loveland Aquarium the Keel-billed toucans are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), administered by AZA. The goal of an SSP is to oversee population management within accredited zoos and aquariums, and to enhance conservation of the species in the wild. The SSP for Keel-billed toucans is “Red,” meaning institutions with breeding pairs are needed to maintain populations

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