Black swans debut at San Francisco Zoo today
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
May 2, 2006
The San Francisco Zoo will welcome two new additions today, a
pair of Australian black swans, and will showcase the newly restored
Billabong area of the zoo, where the swans will live.
The zoo will hold an 11 a.m. event for news media Tuesday to
welcome the animals.
"Black swans are quite striking in appearance and are considered
the most social of all swan species, so we believe our visitors
will be thrilled by them," said Manuel Mollinedo, executive
director and president of the San Francisco Zoo.
Black swans are mostly black with white wing tips and red beaks.
The birds can weigh up to 20 pounds and can have wingspans of
up to 6 feet, according to officials from the zoo.
The swans will live in a section of the zoo called the Billabong,
which is an Australian word meaning a pool of standing water that
is attached to a waterway.
"We're confident that our two swans will be quite happy
in a setting such as our Billabong, which matches their Australian
homeland," Mollinedo said.
The black swans were given to the zoo by Black Swan Vineyards,
an Australian wine company named after the animals. Black Swan
Vineyards has also financed the renovation of the Billabong area
of the zoo.
"Black Swan Vineyards is proud to support the San Francisco
Zoo, a leader in conservation as well as a vibrant community center
for recreation and education," said Jennifer Chen of Black
"Bringing these elegant and distinctive birds to the zoo
is a great opportunity to help people learn more about this unique
species," Chen said.
Tuesday's event will be held in the Billabong area of the zoo.
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