An Andean flamingo swaddles a surrogate Chilean flamingo chick, supplanted to replace its own infertile egg, in Slimbridge, England, in this undated photo. The British conservation charity Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust says recent record-breaking high temperatures encouraged a rare flock of Andean flamingos to lay eggs for the first time since 2003, but their eggs were infertile so the WWT gave them eggs from their near relatives, Chilean flamingos, to look after and satisfy their nurturing instincts. (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust via AP)

Heat wave put flamingos in the mood for 1st time in 15 years

August 12, 2018 - 2:38 am

LONDON (AP) — A British conservation charity says record-breaking temperatures have encouraged a rare flock of Andean flamingos to lay eggs for the first time since 2003.

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust says six of the exotic birds laid nine eggs, all of which were infertile. The charity's reserve in Gloucestershire in southwest England then gave the Andean flamingos eggs from near-relatives, Chilean flamingos, to look after.

Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the Slimbridge reserve, says "with the Andeans in full parenting mode, we gave them Chilean chicks to bring up as their own. It's great motivation and enriching for the birds."

The Andeans are some of the oldest animals at the trust's Slimbridge reserve. Some arrived in the 1960s as adults. The birds are long-lived and can breed into old age.

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