As the bringer of babies a stork normally symbolises birth, and at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm two storks have had a child of their own.
The newly born white stork has been named affectionately as Wally, and his arrival is even more portentous given the fact that his parents had been struggling to conceive for a long time.
The patience of his parents Stephan and Stephanie finally paid off, but the clumsy Wally will still have to be hand-reared to get the best chance at life. Special care will have to be paid to the young stork, especially as his predecessors were killed by a fox raid.
The job will fall to his ‘god parents’, zoo keeper Mandy Patch, who Wally believes is his mum, and Head Keeper and Curator Chris Wilkinson who will become a surrogate ‘father’ and help with child-care responsibilities.
Mandy Patch, senior Bird and Reptile Keeper at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, said: “Our graceful storks Stephan and Stephanie laid two eggs this year, and after struggling to rear their chicks by themselves in the past, we decided to help by incubating their brood in our hatchery.
“All the equipment and knowledge in the world can’t guarantee successful rearing of stork chicks, and after sadly losing one of the young we were thrilled to see the second doing well. I’m pleased to say, after four weeks of day-and-night care by our zoo staff, Wally the stork is doing brilliantly and is growing quickly on his special diet of fish and meat.”
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is renowned for the successful care of many exotic bird species including cranes, ostriches, quails and rheas, so why not come down for a visit to find out more about our feathered friends?
This Bristol Zoo is located in Wraxall only minutes from the M5 motorway, and is open Monday – Saturday 10:30am–5pm.
There is more information about the animals, entry prices and events at Noah’s Ark, and you can also phone us on 01275 852606.