CT's Beardsley Zoo Welcomes Khing the White-Naped Crane

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the new home for a white-naped crane (Antigone vipio). The four-year-old male crane, named Khing, arrived from the Akron Zoo in Ohio and can be found in the large grassy habitat located next to the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat. He is a companion for the Zoo’s three-year-old female white-naped crane, Cora. 

White-naped cranes are an elegant species native to northern Mongolia, southern Siberia, Korea, Japan and central China.  A large bird that grows to four feet tall or more, they  have a white nape and vertical gray stripes on their necks, as well as a distinct red patch surrounding their eyes. They are found in  grassy marshes, wet sedge meadows and reedbeds in broad river valleys, lake depressions and boggy upland wetlands. They prefer areas where their nests can be concealed and there is little grazing pressure.

This species is classified as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. Threats to their survival include the drying of wetlands due to climate change and agricultural expansion, as well as illegal hunting, human disturbances, and environmental contamination.  The total population is estimated at 3,700 to 4,500 mature individuals. 

“Khing is a wonderful addition to the Zoo’s demonstration of the rich biodiversity in nature,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Khing and Cora are both young birds, but we are hopeful that we’ll see breeding activity this spring. This pair is a beautiful species that we know will educate and delight our guests.”

White-naped cranes reach maturity in their third or fourth year and form monogamous, long-lasting pair bonds that can last a lifetime. The male and female of the species are virtually indistinguishable and can be difficult to tell apart. 

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About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Get your ticket to adventure! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 101st year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and American red wolves.  Other highlights include our new Andean Bear Habitat, Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove.  As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, the non-profit Zoo is committed to the preservation of endangered animals and wild habitats. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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