Bird House keepers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a Stanley crane chick, hatched July 10 to the Zoo's 27-year-old female and 17-year-old male. Animal care staff are monitoring the chick closely and report that it appears to be alert and strong, and the parents are protective and have been feeding and brooding the chick. The Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Stanley cranes and, since 2009, has successfully hatched eight chicks. In the coming weeks, staff will determine the chick's sex by obtaining a drop of blood from one of its quills. Native to South Africa and Namibia, Stanley cranes are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss, collision with powerlines and human-animal conflict. Visitors can see Stanley cranes at the Bird House's outdoor exhibit.
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