American rhea

Near threatened

Eugène and Edmond are the two American rheas of the park


Scientific name : Rhea americana

Where do they live?

A large part of the South American continent (Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina)

Did you know?

Doting dads
The American rhea nest is built by the male. He digs a small hole in the ground, about a metre in diameter, and then lines the bottom with vegetation. Males may mate with several females, all of whom lay their eggs in the same nest, meaning that a nest can easily contain 10 to 60 eggs! Males are also the ones who incubate the eggs and take care of the young.

Also known as the greater rhea, this flightless bird is the largest of the American continent. Its legs are long and strong, with toes that help with running and travelling over long distances.
The rhea's cry sounds more like a roar that a bird song. It is mostly used by males during courting. The sound of the call gave the bird its local name of "ñandù".

Height

Up to 1.40 m.

Weight

20-25 kg.

Incubation period

35-40 days.

Egg

Eggs measure 13 cm by 9 cm and weigh 600 grams.

Life expectancy

10 years.

Highly adaptable

In Germany, 3 couples that escaped from a farm in 2000 survived the winter and reproduced successfully in an environment similar to their natural habitat. In 2013, their population was estimated to be more than 100 individuals. In light of their adaptability, reintroduction projects of American rheas born in captivity are possible.