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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Ostrich eggs hatched in Aga oven
Harry and Houdini the ostriches
Harry and Houdini started life in a meringue oven
Two baby ostriches have survived after a safari park curator hatched them in an Aga oven.

The pair were left in danger when their nest at Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside, was abandoned by their mother after it flooded.

But Penny Boyd, whose partner Nick Ellerton is curator of the park, took the eggs in and placed them in the meringue oven of their Aga.

The eggs hatched after several days, and were named Harry and Houdini.

Miss Boyd said: "It is most extraordinary that they hatched at all, we certainly did not hold out much hope.

"It is difficult enough to hatch chicks in a proper incubator so it is pretty incredible that they survived in an Aga."

It's amazing they've survived
David Ross
Knowsley Safari Park

The ostriches, which are three weeks old, are now living in the kitchen at the couple's cottage along with the other family pets including Ginger the cat and a cockerel.

They will be moved to an outside pen in a month, before being introduced into the safari park.

General manager David Ross said: "These two young fellows really shouldn't be here because once ostrich eggs get very cold and wet there's usually no chance of saving them.

"It's amazing they've survived."

In April a baby Pere David deer called Mi-Lu was adopted by Miss Boyd's two dogs, Kipper and Geoffrey, after she was deserted by her mother while only a few weeks old.

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