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This summer Audubon welcomed three Toco Toucan chicks that hatched at Audubon Zoo in May 2013. These chicks continue the successful tradition of the Zoo's toucan breeding program and add a new level of activity for their parents. Toco Toucans are part of The Species Survival Plan (SSP) a cooperative population management and conservation program for selected species at North American zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy, self-sustaining captive population, both genetically diverse and demographically stable.
Audubon Zoo is home to two pairs of Toco Toucans; one set can be seen by the public in the Jaguar Jungle exhibit while the other pair lives off exhibit in a special breeding area. This is the third time this pair has successfully raised chicks and we hope there will be more!
The three toucan chicks will not go on exhibit at Audubon Zoo. Instead, they will remain behind the scenes until they are mature enough to leave their parents and when the SSP Program coordinator has determined to which Zoo each toucan should be sent. The genetic history of each chick combined with the other toucans that need to be paired will determine their new home and what is best for the Toco Toucan population as a whole.