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      Zoo introduces new feathered friends

      Boomer with dad.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The Riverbanks Zoo is introducing two feathered friends in their flamingo flock.

      The zoo announced the addition of Starbuck and Boomer Wednesday.

      Starbuck, born June 28, and Boomer, born July 9, aren't the usual pink color just yet. Zoo officials say it takes about a year for the birds to become their vibrant adult color.

      The two chicks are now on display for public viewing after being raised away from the flock part-time for the first several weeks of their lives.

      The schedule mirrors the birds' natural childhood routine.

      In the wild, flamingo chicks will stay together as a group while their parents wander," said Martin Vince, curator of birds at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "When the parents return, they rely on the distinctive vocalizations of their offspring to reconnect and resume caring for their young."

      Vince says this is something that has never been done in a zoo before.

      You can catch the chicks while they're still small from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the flamingo exhibit.

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