Five flamingo chicks are being hand-reared at WWT Washington Wetland Centre, for the very first time.
The Chilean flamingos are being given round-the-clock care at the site’s specialist breeding facility.
The hatchlings are from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s (WWT’s) headquarters in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, but were transported to the North East in incubators while still inside their eggs.
WWT Washington’s Aviculture Manager Owen Joiner said: "Our own flock of 38 Chilean flamingos failed to produce eggs for the fifth season running this year.
"By adding these five new chicks we should stimulate the existing adults into laying eggs, while at the same time increasing the flock size and adding young birds that will hopefully breed themselves in a few years time."
The centre decided to hand-rear the babies because the eggs were laid so late in the season.
They say it would be too risky to allow the flamingos to parent-rear the babies due to colder weather and lack of essential sunlight.
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