Greater rhea chicks hatch at Calgary Zoo for 1st time ever

Calgary Zoo welcomed two tiny new residents this month.

2 chicks were born on Aug. 3 and 5

Two greater rhea chicks have been born at the Calgary Zoo. (Calgary Zoo)

Calgary Zoo welcomed two tiny new residents this month.

On Aug. 3 and 5, the first two greater rhea chicks to be born in Calgary hatched at the zoo.

The greater rhea is a flightless bird, and the largest bird in South America. The near-threatened birds are part of the Species Survival Plan, which helps ensure genetic diversity and safeguards at-risk species.

This little chick could grow up to weigh 23 kilograms. (Calgary Zoo)

Wild greater rhea populations are declining due to hunting and habitat loss, the zoo said.

"Within greater rhea flocks, the males take on the dominant parenting role by building nests, incubating eggs and caring for the newly-hatched chicks," said Colleen Baird, the Calgary Zoo's general curator, in a release Friday.

She said the male greater rhea, Jekyll, has been doing a great job as a new dad.

The zoo has yet to name the two chicks.