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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 09:57 GMT
Second fertile egg for Flamingos
Slimbridge's rare lesser flamingo chick being cared for by its parents
A second Lesser Flamingo chick may hatch mid February
A pair of Lesser Flamingos at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Gloucestershire have laid a second fertile egg.

If it hatches - as is expected around Valentine's Day - the chick will be a brother or sister to Hope, the chick born in July 2006.

Hope's birth was a huge boost to the WWT's work at Slimbridge.

It is very rare for Lesser Flamingos to breed in captivity and when they do the eggs are usually infertile.

Hope was born two months before the organisation's scientists led a Lesser Flamingo Action Plan Workshop in Kenya to investigate poor breeding and unexplained die-offs of the species in the wild.

We are crossing our fingers that Hope will have a brother or sister to play with in a couple of week's time
WWT Research Officer, Rebecca Lee
During WWT's 60 year history, just 10 eggs were laid up until 2001, but none were fertile and no further eggs were produced for five years.

Hope's birth last July was the single success story out of five eggs laid in 2006.

The fertile egg is being incubated by wardens in the centre's nursery while, as before, a dummy egg has taken its place on the nest.

WWT research officer Rebecca Lee said: "Hope is still being looked after by her parents but is taking a keen interest in the new egg that her mum and dad are spending so much time looking after.

"We are crossing our fingers that Hope will have a brother or sister to play with in a couple of weeks' time."

Rare flamingo born in captivity
19 Jul 06 |  Gloucestershire
Flamingo shares footballer's name
06 Jun 06 |  Gloucestershire

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