HESC – Wild Southern Ground Hornbills – adult (left) and juvenile (right)
We recently noticed that a wild pair of Southern Ground Hornbills have bredÂ successfully, which means something in the area must have improved in order for them to achieve this.
At the Centre we endeavour to breed with our endangered animals so that we can release the new generation back into the wild, and in doing so aid the survival of the species. But every so often our residents’ wild counterparts step in to show us how it’s done. Which is exactly what happened with a pair of wild Southern Ground Hornbills in the area.
Our own pair – Goempie and Scewie – are on loan to us, and it’s our responsibility to take care of these two birds until they start breeding. Their chicks will then be sent back to Goempie and Scewie’s owners to be hand-reared by them. We are in effect taking care of the couple during their teenage years.
Although our two are still too young to breed, their arrival at the Centre a few years ago attracted Wild Ground Hornbills to move into the area. Even more surprising was that these wild birds took Goempie and Scewie under their wing and began caring for them as if they were their own.
But wait…there’s more.
This wild pair now have a youngster of their own. And they’re using the HESC as a safe haven in which to raise the juvenile, whom we estimate to be in the region of 10 months old.