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Sacred Ibis

Animal Essentials

Scientific Name:
Threskiornis aethiopicus
Park Location:
South Africa to Sudan and Niger

Freshwater wetlands, salt pans, dams, mangroves, rivers in open forested areas

Amazing Facts

The Ibis represented the god Thoth, god of wisdom, knowledge and writing, and was considered the herald of the flood. It was of practical use to villagers as it helped to rid fish ponds of water snails that contained dangerous liver parasites
However sadly, it is now extinct throughout Egypt because of gradual acidification through swamp drainage and land reclamation

African Sacred Ibis are wading birds that are black and white in colour. Their long legs allow them to wade through the water without getting their feathers wet. They also allow them to jump and take off quickly should they spot a predator. They have a long beak which curves downwards which also allows them to retrieve their food in amongst mud and shallow water.

They generally live in colonies which can reach up to 300 individuals. They can also share territory within trees and bushes with other species of bird such as spoonbills. When it comes to breeding both parents will attend to a clutch of 2-4 eggs for about 3 weeks. Once the eggs hatch they take turns feeding the nestlings. The young leave the nest at 14-21 days old but continue to be fed until they grow flight feathers at about 35- 48 days old. Unfortunately breeding success is generally very low, with an average of 0.01 young fledged per nest. This shows the importance of breeding them successfully in captivity.

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