You You and Yang Yang, the pair of endangered crested ibises that arrived from China at the end of January, are feeding and adapting well to their new home, the Environment Agency announced Monday.
The two birds are acclimating well to their new surroundings at Sado Island’s Sado Toki Preservation Center, the agency said.
Since arriving on Jan. 30, the pair of birds, a gift from Chinese President Jiang Zemin to the Emperor, have been munching on loach, catching some sun and becoming progressively active — under close scrutiny of employees at the center.
After their arrival in Japan, they were put in a “sunning cage” and fed loach before being moved to a more spacious “flight cage” over the weekend, where they became more active, center officials said. On Sunday the birds began eating man-made feed, and on Monday the clips were removed from their wings.
The center hopes this seemingly smitten couple will reproduce and revive Japan’s ibis population, which has dwindled to one — Kin — a 31-year-old female who also lives at the center. Last year You You and Yang Yang, both born in 1996, produced seven eggs, from which five chicks were born and survived. The population of crested ibises in China is over 120 — some estimates put it closer to 140 — with nearly half living in the wild.