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Hayle cockatoos have first chick after years together

By CMJohannaCarr  |  Posted: October 29, 2012

  • The young red-tailed black cockatoo fits into the palm of a hand.

  • The young red-tailed black cockatoo fits into the palm of a hand.

  • The young red-tailed black cockatoo was hatched at Paradise Park, Hayle, in an incubator.

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A pair of cockatoos smuggled into the UK as eggs have had their first chick at a bird sanctuary in Hayle.

Staff at Paradise Park are celebrating their new arrival, which is being hand-reared after being hatched in an incubator.

The tiny chick, who fits into the palm of a hand, is a red-tailed black cockatoo.

Its parents, originally from Australia, have been together for many years but had never managed to raise any chicks for themselves, often breaking the eggs soon after laying.

Curator David Woolcock decided to take the next egg to try to hatch it in an incubator, and now the chick is being reared by hand.

He said: "We are really pleased to have bred this species of cockatoo for the first time. The little chick is very active and its long fluffy yellow feathers make it very endearing."  

The parents came to the Park after being smuggled into the UK as eggs, and hatched  in secret.

They had been concealed in a specially made vest, survived unbroken during the flight from the other side of the world and then successfully hatched in an incubator.

The retired vet who masterminded the money-making scheme was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison and all  the birds were confiscated and placed with European bird gardens and zoos.

Paradise Park took four birds, one of which has been trained to fly in the Park's free flying bird show.

That bird can be seen in the show until this Sunday.

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