Seze, the female bar-pouched wreathed hornbill at North Florida Wildlife Center, welcomed a new mate into her life Tuesday.
NFWC Executive Director Ryan David Reines explained that Seze is four or five years old and has been at their facility for three years. Her species is endangered and she is one of only a handful in captivity in the United States.
After waiting patiently for a mate, Toruk, a 14-year-old male of the same species, has arrived at NFWC from a zoo in California.
While this species tends to be monogamous, Toruk's mate passed away of cancer.
Reines explained that, much like humans, when a bird loses its mate, it's not uncommon for them to find another.
Reines said that Seze is "probably the only single female in the United States" and they will now get to continue one of NFWC's missions, which is to create genetically diverse captive populations.
"It's nothing short of an incredible opportunity for us," Reines said.
The master plan for all the paired birds is that they will be set up in aviaries in the forest at NFWC. Reines said they're currently waiting on funding for the project.
The North Florida Wildlife Center is located in Lamont, Florida at 1386 Cook Road. Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and currently its recommended that guests secure reservation online for their visit.
More information about volunteer opportunities and NFWC's conservation efforts can be found on their website.
All photos are courtesy of North Florida Wildlife Center.