A zoo in Cornwall has successfully bred its first ever green aracari toucan chicks - one of the smallest members of the toucan family.

The arrival of the three chicks at Newquay Zoo, two males and one female, marks the first time the species has been bred on site in the venue's 55-year history.

The mother, a 12-year-old toucan, has been residing at the zoo since 2017.

The father came from Cotswolds Wildlife Park in February this year.

The pair quickly formed a bond, leading to the hatching of the chicks in late May.

All three chicks have since fledged, meaning that they are now able to fly.

Their development is a result of cooperative parenting, a common behaviour amongst green araçaris.

For toucans, both males and females share responsibilities such as incubating eggs, feeding their offspring, and caring for them until they can explore independently.

One of Newquay Zoo’s adult green araçari toucansOne of Newquay Zoo’s adult green araçari toucans (Image: Newquay Zoo)

Dan Trevelyan, senior animal keeper at Newquay Zoo, said: "It’s been a fantastic experience watching the chicks growing and changing day-by-day.

“When they first hatched, they looked a lot like dinosaurs, but now their feathers have grown in, and we’ve been able to identify the sexes of the chicks by the colours of their heads.

"Males have dark black neck and head feathers, whilst the females are reddish brown.”

Green araçari toucans originate from the lowland forests of north-eastern South America.

The chicks have been cared for by their parents and have now fledgedThe chicks have been cared for by their parents and have now fledged (Image: Newquay Zoo)

Despite not being endangered, they are vulnerable due to habitat loss caused by deforestation.

They are also popular in the exotic pet trade industry.

Newquay Zoo operates under the banner of Wild Planet Trust, a charity working to prevent species decline through conservation education.

More information about Newquay Zoo and its conservation efforts can be found at www.newquayzoo.org.uk.