This cute baby African Crowned Crane is proudly walking tall after carers fitted it with bright green slippers – to straighten its curled toes.
The tiny hand-reared chick was born with a slight defect which meant toes on both feet were not developing as they should.
So keepers at Paradise Park in Hayle, Cornwall, fitted the slippers in a bid to ‘straighten things out’ – and now the one inch high rare bird is proudly walking tall.
Curator David Woolcock said: ”For the first few days we put small bandages on the chicks toes as they were slightly curled, and this just helped straightened things out.
”The chick is doing very well and is currently off show, although can sometimes be seen on the grass in front of Glanmor House at the centre of the park as keepers take the chick for a walk to help strengthen those legs.”
The tiny crane is being hand-reared at the centre amid fears it would not be looked after by its mother.
It is currently being regularly exercised to strengthen its underdeveloped legs and will be weaned in late August, when it will be introduced to other cranes.
The chick is expected to grow to over four feet in height in just a few months and will have a high protein diet, including mealworms.
David added: ”In the past, the female parent of this chick has not done very well when she has laid a clutch of eggs inside rather than outside her hut.
”So when this happened again, and with this species having been recently upgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ status, we made a decision to remove the eggs and incubate them ourselves.
”We were delighted when one hatched. So the keepers are now full time mums with two hourly feeds and giving some much needed tender loving care to this little one.”
OMG this is so funny!