We have a breeding pair of adult Darwin’s rhea. They arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in October 2011 from France.
Location in the Zoo:
The female rhea can be seen at the top of the hill and our male with the three youngsters can be found in the lower paddock next to the monkey walk-through.
Breeding Programme Category:
Our rhea are part of the European Stud Book (EBS) programme.
It is the male Darwin’s rhea that incubates the eggs, and he becomes very protective of his nest site and the paddock during the breeding season!
Darwin’s rheas are very difficult to breed in captivity and so our keepers are working closely with colleagues in other zoos to increase husbandry knowledge for the species.
In 2014 their hard work has paid off and our Darwin’s rhea produced nine chicks. They were successfully hand reared by keepers and have been moved onto other collections as part of the breeding programme.
On 31 May 2015 our male Darwin's rhea successfully incubated and hatched five chicks, which have also moved on to other collections as part of the breeding programme.
In May 2017 our keepers were delighted with the arrival of three chicks.