Children’s zoo welcomes new resident: a bustard

J.A.R.V.I.S., a buff-crested bustard, is the the newest animal in the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo’s African Journey. (Photo courtesy Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has a new resident: a Buff-crested Bustard.

The bustard, named J.A.R.V.I.S. from the Marvel ‘Iron Man’ superhero series, is on exhibit with red-billed hornbills Tony and Pepper (also ‘Iron Man’ names) in the zoo’s African Journey.

The zoo said buff-crested bustards are rather quirky animals. They are omnivorous, opportunistic hunters that feed on plants, insects and small rodents. At the zoo, though, J.A.R.V.I.S. eats grains, vitamin pellets, tiny mice, meal worms, wax worms, greens and fruit.

J.A.R.V.I.S. the buff-crested bustard lives with red-billed hornbills Tony and Pepper in an exhibit near the swamp monkeys at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. (Photo courtesy Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)
J.A.R.V.I.S. the buff-crested bustard lives with red-billed hornbills Tony and Pepper in an exhibit near the swamp monkeys at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. (Photo courtesy Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo)

Buff-crested bustards also lack a hind digit that prevents them from perching on branches. They also rarely fly and typically only will when trying to get the attention of a female.

J.A.R.V.I.S. and his exhibit-mates can be found near the swamp monkeys in the African Journey. The zoo guest might have to really look for him, though.

“He’s good at hiding,” says Area Curator Amber Eagleson, “but guests can find him if they’re patient and look under the shrubs.”

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