Video: Fluffy trio arrive for Easter at Linton Zoo

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A fluffy trio hatched just in time to help Linton Zoo celebrate Easter.

The three Turkmenian eagle owlets weighed just 50 grams each when hatched last month, but have since grown rapidly and at three weeks old already weigh around a kilo.

The Turkmenian eagle owlets

The Turkmenian eagle owlets

Breeding is seasonal as they scrape out a nest at the bottom of an old tree or rock crevice, and the female then incubates the eggs alone while the male hunts and provides food the family.

Over the Easter weekend they started toddling around and have been seen by visitors taking their first few adventurous steps outside of their nesting cave while under the protective gaze of their beady eyed mum.

Zoo director Kim Simmons said: “The Turkmenian eagle owl is one of the largest and most spectacular owls in the world and is closely related to the European eagle owl.

“Sadly though, it is now believed to be extinct in its original wild range around Turkmenistan, there are also very few in captivity with only 26 known pure-bred individuals in zoos across Europe, and ten of these have hatched here since 2011.

The Turkmenian eagle owlets

The Turkmenian eagle owlets

“Both parents of these special birds were also hatched at Linton.

“Mum ‘Rohan’ is seven and their dad ‘Pip’ turned 25 years old this year.

“Pip and Rohan are currently the only known breeding pair.

“This makes these three owlets especially important individuals, although they may not realise it.

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No Caption ABCDE

“Our breeding programme provides as safeguard against total extinction for this very charismatic bird.”

For all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, April 24) Echo.