Arrow-right Camera


Rare stork hatches in wild for first time in 43 years

Mon., May 21, 2007

TOKYO – An endangered white stork egg laid in the wild has hatched naturally in western Japan for the first time in more than 40 years, a stork museum announced Sunday.

The new chick’s parents – a 7-year-old male Oriental white stork and his 9-year-old partner – were born through artificial breeding at a public farm, the Hyogo Prefectural Homeland for the Oriental White Stork, and were released into the wild last September.

The couple started mating in April and built their nest atop a 14-yard-tall manmade pole in a rice paddy near the farm in the city of Toyooka.

“The baby was born!” the Eco Museum Center for Oriental White Stork said in a statement on its Web site. “It would be a major step forward for storks’ return to the wild.”

The birth of a naturally bred stork is the first since one was recorded in 1964 in the central Japan town of Fukui.

Designated as a special natural treasure in Japan, Oriental white storks disappeared from Japan in the 1980s.

The Hyogo park began a stork preservation program in 1985 using six birds donated by the Soviet Union. Through captive breeding, those six storks now have more than 100 offspring.


Click here to comment on this story »