A mixed-species exhibit for African water birds (including pelicans, flamingos, spoonbills and storks) at Odense Zoo, Denmark: breeding success, animal welfare and education



Odense Zoo, Denmark, has built an aviary for large African birds, such as Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, Pink-backed pelican Pelecanus rufescens, African spoonbill Platalea alba and Abdim's stork Ciconia abdimii. The decision to build the aviary was based on a strategic move that birds at Odense Zoo would no longer be pinioned. The aim was to enhance animal welfare and, at the same time, improve visitor experience. Overall, the aviary has been a success in terms of visitor experience and bird breeding. All species have bred in the aviary, including African spoonbills, Pink-backed pelicans, Greater flamingos and Abdim's stork. No collision damage has been seen in the birds despite the fact that some have had ‘fast forward’ collisions into the side of the aviary. However, the flexible Dyneema netting used means the birds bounce off easily without sustaining any injuries that require veterinary intervention.