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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April, 2003, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Zoo's Easter chick thrives
Vulture chick
The chick has not yet been named
An unusual chick will be the centre of attention at an Essex zoo over the Easter weekend - a three-week-old vulture.

The baby Griffon vulture is being hand-reared on a diet of liquidised meat, vitamins and minerals by staff at Colchester Zoo after he was rejected by his mother.

It is believed to be the first time this species of vulture has been successfully reared in the UK.

Zoo curator Anthony Tropeano said: "His weight is about 477 grammes and he is slowly putting on weight and seems to be going from strength to strength."

The chick has not yet been named, as the zoo says it is superstitious about naming animals too early.

He is also not being shown to the public at present.

Griffon vultures are found in central Africa, where they nest on cliffs.

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