Hornbills released into the wild
Vimolrat Singnikorn
Nine hornbills were released into the wild by Khao Kheow Open Zoo on December 26, National Wild Animal Preservation Day, as part of a program of breeding this protected bird.
Hornbills that have reached the appropriate age for breeding were released back into the wild on Wild Animal Day The zoo, working in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, has succeeded in breeding Oriental Pied Hornbills, one of 13 hornbill birds that are found in Thailand.
Working under a government budget for the period 2005-2007, the zoo has been breeding a number of the small birds, implanting a GPS device, and then preparing them for release. The first two were released in August.
December 26 saw the release of nine more Oriental Pied Hornbills, with a ceremony led by Chonburi Governor Pracha Taerat dedicating the event to His Majesty the King’s Diamond Jubilee.
The birds, three males and six females, were aged between four and five years, the natural age at which they start to breed.
Governor Pracha also distributed certificates to attending schools and official departments, including Preservation Administration Bureau 2, Bangpra Wild Life No-hunting Area, and Bangpra Wild Animal Preservation.
The Oriental Pied Hornbill is a protected species of bird under the Wild Animal Protection Act of 1992. The size found in Thailand is 65cm, and the male is a little bit larger than the female. They live in humid virgin forests, dry virgin forests, Tengrung forests and mixed forests.
The bird is found in the North, upper South and in the East. They eat fruit and small animals (snakes, chameleons, crabs, shells). The hornbill can be used as an index for forest perfection, in the event one is found.
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