Although still closed to visitors, our collection is currently seeing growth from both the spring baby-boom and animal transfers. Our newest residents are two Himalayan monals – a species pretty rare even in throughout Europe and one we have never kept before. Transferred from DierenPark Amersfoort (the Netherlands), the flamboyant males now reside in an aviary right next to our red pandas, native to the same region in the Far East, and are hoped to share it with more Himalayan bird species as well as some females in the near future.
A national symbol in Nepal and the state of Uttarakhand in India, Himalayan monals (Lophophorus impejanus) are native to temperate forests, bushes and cliffs at a height of 2500 to 5000 m in the Himalayas, making them the highest-living pheasant species in the region. Unlike their close relatives, they have a crest on their heads – upright for males with red, golden, green and blue colors and flat for the more humble-looking brown females. Interestingly, they use their strong beaks instead of their feet to dig out food, mostly made up of seeds, tubers, shoots and insects. They live in pairs or small groups, with a rich repertoire of sounds and movements used for communication; males have an iconic melancholic-sounding call to signal the start of the breeding season in April.
Due to a decrease in numbers, Himalayan monals are included in the IUCN’s Red List. A rather rare species in Hungarian zoos, they are currently only found here and in Zoo Szeged.
Like a number of other residents, our flamboyant newcomers are yet to be adopted. If you want to make them really happy while also offering us tremendous help, please consider becoming a zoo foster parent. Further info at:
Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park