WASHINGTON (AP) — National Zoo officials say two rare Guam rail chicks have hatched there. The birds are extinct in the wild.
The small, flightless birds hatched March 3 and 4. The total population of the birds is now 162.READ MORE: Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Through Saturday; Blizzard Warning Issued For 3 Eastern Shore Counties
In several weeks, zookeepers will perform routine medical exams and take feather samples to determine the birds’ sexes.READ MORE: Over 100 Flight Delays, 44 Cancellations Reported At BWI Airport
Eighty-two chicks have hatched at the Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Some of have been sent to Guam for release and breeding.
Guam rails were plentiful on the island until the brown tree snake arrived in military equipment shipped from New Guinea after World War II. The snakes had no natural predators and hunted the Guam rails and eight other bird species to the brink of extinction.MORE NEWS: LIVE LOOK: Ocean City Expecting Up To A Foot Of Snow
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