Rare baby chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo.

The northern bald ibis chicks are classed by conservationists as being critically endangered, meaning they face an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. Sometimes referred to as a ‘waldrapp’ ibis, the bird was once common throughout Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East.

 

However due to habitat loss and hunting of their eggs and chicks, it has vanished from Europe, leaving diminished populations in Morocco and just a handful in Syria.

Keepers at the zoo check on the development of their new arrivals by weighing them on a daily basis.

Lead keeper Steve Williams said: “Some consider to them to be one of the zoo’s uglier species but given that they’re so rare, we think they’re real beauties.”