Baby flamingo out for a walk

A baby flamingo has been walking around Jurong Bird Park's Breeding and Research Centre in a pair of shiny blue shoes.

The bird, Squish, named for its "squish-ability", is a greater flamingo - the largest of the species - which was abandoned as an egg.

It was found by keepers and taken to the Breeding and Research Centre's incubation room, where it was kept warm at around 37 deg C for about a month, before hatching on June 7.

Hitting the scales at just 90.5g, Squish was fed a special formula of eggs and multivitamins - rich in protein like a parent flamingo's crop milk - up to five times a day, and now weighs a healthy 1.2kg.

Now over two months old, Squish goes on short walks around the centre to develop its leg strength, and wears soft blue boots to protect its foot pads from the hard ground. Ground surfaces are softer in the wild.

The chick also spends time in the weaning room adjusting to the outdoor temperature and learning to feed on its own.

It will join the more than 300-strong flock at Flamingo Lake when it hits three months of age.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Baby flamingo out for a walk'. Print Edition | Subscribe