In Otter News: Jim and Nancy the Laughing Kookaburras
In this week’s “In Otter News” we head the Lake Superior Zoo, to meet Jim and Nancy, two laughing Kookaburra’s that reside in the Australia Habitat.
Nancy is 20 years old and just wanted her breakfast, and Jim is 5 years old and has a lot to say.
Both are part of the Species Survival Plan. It’s something that zoo do is that we work with other zoos across the country that are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They’re genetics are catalogued to know they would be able to reproduce. LSZ hopes they’ll become a breeding pair.
The zoo always uses positive training reinforcement, they’re trained to do things like fly on a scale or to their stand, but they definitely don’t have to train if they don’t feel like it. ‘I don’t know how exactly you would force a Kookaburra to do something it didn’t want to do. But what we can do is really cool,” says Lizzy Larson the Director of Animal Care.
Even though Kookaburras are birds, they’re also carnivores, which may be surprising. Their diet includes mice, chicks, fish, and worms.
Since they swallow their prey whole, the bones can be difficult to digest. That’s why they whack their beaks against rocks, it’s to help break the bones of their prey.