Prague zookeepers use puppet to raise endangered magpie

A keeper using a glove puppet imitating a parent feeds baby critically endangered Javan green magpie at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Javan green magpies are one of the most endangered birds on earth. (AP Photo/Petr The Associated Press
A keeper using a glove puppet imitating a parent feeds baby critically endangered Javan green magpie at the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Javan green magpies are one of the most endangered birds on earth. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Zookeepers in Prague have turned into puppeteers in an effort to save the critically endangered Javan green magpie.

Zoo officials saved one precious egg after the parents threw a second egg out of their nest. The magpie chick which hatched a month ago is being kept in a box and fed using a puppet that imitates a parent bird.

Bird keeper Antonin Vaidl says the puppet is being used to ensure the bird will be capable of breeding, which it won't be if it gets used to people.

Vaidl says the puppet doesn't have to be a perfect imitation of an adult bird because the baby responds to certain signals, such as a red beak, black patches around the eyes and a bright green background.

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