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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Rare flamingo born in captivity
Slimbridge's rare lesser flamingo chick being cared for by its parents
The chick is the first lesser flamingo to hatch at Slimbridge in 60 years
A rare lesser flamingo chick has hatched at Slimbridge on the hottest day of the year.

The baby bird, which has yet to be named, is the first of its kind to be born at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in its 60-year history.

Experts said it is very unusual for lesser flamingos to breed in captivity.

Only 10 of the birds' eggs have ever been laid at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, and the new arrival is the first live birth there.

'Near threatened'

WWT spokesman Nigel Jarrett said: "This is absolutely amazing news and a very exciting day for WWT.

"Lesser Flamingos really only breed at one site in the world - in Africa - so it is so exciting that we can now add Slimbridge to that very small list. It really does make this that extra bit special."

Lesser flamingos are classed as a "near threatened" species.

There are five million of the birds, but 96% of them breed at a single unprotected location in Tanzania so their future is seen as particularly fragile.

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