SINGAPORE - 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 over two months old. It is a greater flamingo - the largest of their species - which was abandoned as an egg.
It had been taken to the Breeding and Research Centre's incubation room after it was found by keepers, 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, it was fed a special formula consisting of eggs and multi-vitamins - protein-rich, like a parent flamingo's crop milk - up to five times daily, and now weighs a healthy 1.2kg.
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 over 300-strong flock at Flamingo Lake when it hits three months of age.
Baby flamingos start out whitish-grey, and their plumage turn into the familiar pink after around two years, from a diet of shrimps, small crustaceans and algae.
The Bird Park's flamingos and other waterfowl undergo annual health checks and flu vaccinations, to maintain their health and prevent illnesses.