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Baby ‘Screamer’ makes its first appearance at Paultons Park
Adopted by its proud Crested Screamer parents, the gosling is the latest arrival at Paultons Park in Hampshire.
The gosling, which hatched on August 7, has emerged from its nest and is being looked after by a pair of Crested Screamers. The Crested Screamers, native to South America, arrived at Paultons in 2004, the male originally from Battersea Children’s Zoo and the female from her home in the Peak District.
Over the years this pair of Crested Screamers has produced a number of chicks. Unfortunately due to the age of the male Screamer, his mate’s eggs were no longer being fertilised, unbeknown to the female who will repeatedly lay a clutch of eggs and sit on them in the hope that one will eventually hatch a chick.
To avoid making her unwell, Paultons substituted two of her eggs for two domestic goose eggs in order for the clutch of eggs to hatch. One of these eggs has hatched successfully and the pair of Crested Screamers are now raising what they believe to be one of their own.
Geoff Masson, livestock manager at Paultons Park, said: “The Screamers are extremely protective towards the gosling and have recently introduced it to the water in their pond.
“The gosling eats the same type of food as the pair of adult Screamers so it was easy to encourage the gosling to start feeding. Their offspring might be a different colour, but it is nevertheless their pride and joy.”