NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Offiicals at the Virginia Zoo are hoping a pair of dangerous birds fell in love on Valentine's Day.
According to a news release from the zoo, two cassowaries were paired earlier this month in hopes of the pair eventually mating.
Earline, the female, came to Norfolk last month from the National Zoo. Zookeepers hope Earline will warm up to Boris, a male cassowary.
"Boris is definitely interested," Alexandra Zelazo-Kessler, the Virginia Zoo's lead bird zookeeper, said. "The pair will stay together until the female lays eggs or they lose interest. If we are so lucky as to have eggs, Boris will incubate and raise the chicks. In the cassowary world, fathers do all the hard work."
Cassowaries are flightless birds originating in New Guinea, north-eastern Australia and area Islands.
"We're very excited about helping to establish a self-sustaining population of cassowaries in U.S. zoos, so we can learn more about them and assist with their conservation in the wild," Greg Bockheim, the Virginia Zoo's executive director said.
For now, the couple is not on public display, but Bockheim said he hopes a habitat that can be seen by public will be established soon.
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