World’s smallest storks now in Honolulu Zoo

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The Honolulu Zoo welcomes two new additions to their family — two hamerkops that have created a new breeding pair. 

The male stork came from the Dallas Zoo, while the female came from the San Diego Zoo. Both are almost two years old. 

“Although hamerkops are not threatened with extinction, having these birds in our zoo provides visitors the opportunity to see these animals up close without having to rely on a video, which just isn’t the same,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “These birds are very impressive to see in person, and I urge our local residents and visitors to come take a look for themselves.”   

Hamerkops, named after their hammer-shaped head, are actually the world’s smallest stork. They can live up to 20 years and grow around two feet tall. There are many located in Africa and Madagascar and are not globally threatened. 

The Honolulu Zoo has successfully bred and hatched 14 hamerkops since 1996, but has not exhibited a hamerkop since the last one, named MC, died in 2014. The Honolulu Zoo plans to breed the two new hamerkops as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). 

They are currently on display in the walk-through aviary in the Honolulu Zoo’s African Savana.

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