THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An egg cracks, gets fixed with a super glue and voila, it hatches. Sounds like the script of a super glue commercial? Well, it happened for real, at Thiruvananthapuram zoo. The zoo officials themselves find it hard to believe the birth story of a baby Rhea.
The shell had only a puncture. Even then, the zoo has had no instance of a cracked egg hatching. In fact, the veterinarian team had not heard of a similar experience from other zoos either.
Zoo veterinarian Dr Jacob Alexander says, “We simply tried it, without knowing whether we would be successful or not.”
It turned out, on November 1, that the experiment was indeed successful. The wide-eyed little one was greeted with wide-eyed admiration.
The bird which was saved is native to South America, and there it is listed as a near-threatened species. Its name ‘Rhea’ means ground in Greek, perfect for a flightless bird.
The bird hatched inside an incubator at the zoo. Recently, the incubator was handy in helping 16 Rhea eggs hatch. Of these, two Rhea chicks were sent to Nehru Zoological Park, Delhi. Zoo Director K Gangadharan says, “Some birds, which do not grow in their natural habitats, do not brood. The incubator comes in handy in such cases. It was particularly helpful in the case of Rhea eggs.” The incident reminds one of the work which won Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Colin Raston, a Chemistry professor at Colins University, was ‘honoured’ with the prize for partially unboiling an egg. While it sounds like a quirky research topic and Ig Nobel prizes are supposed to laud achievements which “make people laugh and then think”, it is reckoned that the study will be useful in pharmacy. Similarly, a cracked egg saved with an adhesive could set a precedent.