Heidelberg (dpa / lsw) - Four young bald ibises from the Heidelberg Zoo have been released into the wild in southern Spain to preserve the endangered ibis species.

According to the zoo on Friday, the birds flew into the wild near Cadíz at the end of February.

Before that, they had been prepared for release there together with other bald ibises.

As part of a species protection project in this region of Spain, young bald ibises are repeatedly released into nature from European zoos, including animals from Heidelberg Zoo for the first time this year.

The aim of the project is to build up a self-reproducing bald ibis population over several years.

The four young animals were raised by the parent birds in Heidelberg.

By the age of six months they were self-sufficient enough to move to their new Spanish homeland.

The bald ibis with the long red beak and the head of feathers has become extinct in its characteristic way of life as a migratory bird in the wild.

A sedentary wild population lives on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

The bald ibis disappeared in Europe as early as the first half of the 17th century.

It had been hunted as a delicacy since the Middle Ages.


© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210319-99-890696 / 2

Information about the bald ibis