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Karoo National Park's feathery friends

Date: 2013-02-15

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Why did the chicken cross the road?  In this case, to teach the baby ostrich how to feed.  Well, that’s the situation at Karoo National Park, in any case.  

While driving through the Park about two weeks ago, Park Manager Nico van der Walt came across a two-week-old ostrich roaming around the vast nearly-100 000 hectare land, all on its own.  With not much chance of survival surrounded by the numerous predators in the Park, van der Walt decided to rear the little chick in his back garden until she was big enough to fend for herself.

However, the dilemma of having to teach little “Brandy”, named after the area she was found in – Brandewyngat – how to feed itself, emerged.  The Park’s staff put their heads together, and decided to bring in a feathered friend to show her the ropes.  A local chicken farmer, Benni Arnoldi’s help was sought, and he provided the chicken as “tutor” to Brandy.

Now, two weeks later, Brandy’s pecking up a storm and drinking water from a bowl like a pro.  Van der Walt reckons that at this rate, Brandy will shortly be waist-high and ready to be released back into the Park, where she’ll then be able to fend for herself.

Karoo National Park's feathered friends
Karoo National Park’s Brandy, the ostrich chick and her “feathery feeding friend”. 

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