Dominika and Krystof adopted a chick from ZOO in Innsbruck

A few days ago, a chick of black stork from Alpenzoo in Innsbruck was released at the nest of stork couple (Dominika and Kryštofa) in Central Bohemia. The nest has been observed in the African Odyssey project. This experiment should provide a solution for releasing capture-bred storks into the wild natural environment. As videotapes indicate, both parent storks and chicks accepted the little stork from Innsbruck. This procedure might be used commonly in near future. Thus, protection of black storks would be improved.

The project has been supported by Czech Radio (main coordinator of the African Odyssey project), Alpenzoo, and Prague ZOO. The whole story is recorded by Bayerischer Rundfunk for the ARD TV channel. Detailed information is available on the Czech Radio 2- PRAHA and selected tapes can be viewed at

"Substitution" of a capture-bred chick into a nest of the same species (or a close one) seems to be the most effective way of returning the birds into wild nature. However, until now nobody knew the reaction of parent birds when they find a baby "stranger" in the nest. Now it is becoming obvious, that the black stork parents take care of a substituted chick as if it was their own chick (similar method has been applied with cormorant birds, too).

A blood drop has been taken from all the chicks (aged 6-7 weeks now). Thus, their sex could have been determined. The chicks have been "baptized" then. The chick from Innsbruck is a female, she has been named Sissi. The chicks of Dominika and Kryštof are all males, they have been named Otakar, Karel, and Václav.

Sissi will reside in the nest together with her three brothers for at least three months. By the time they leave the nest, they will have their tiny communication sets so that their long journey to tropical Africa could be traced.

Texts by Miroslav Bobek and František Pojer
Photo by Khalil Baalbaki, Gérard Jadoul and archive of Africka odysea
Design by Tom Vild
Page by Lenka Hampapová
Supported by the company Internet servis, a.s.