Meet Scoops at the Greenville Zoo

Scoops, a Rhea at the Greenville Zoo, lost part of his beak saving his sister.

A Rhea Bird in the foreground missing part of its beak and another Rhea Bird in the background at the Greenville Zoo.

Boot, scoop, and boogie. | Photo by GVLtoday

If you’ve been to the Greenville Zoo, chances are you’ve encountered the Rheas (think: large flightless birds, similar to an ostrich), and may have noticed that one of them is missing part of its beak.

GVLtoday Rhea Scoops

You learn something new every day. | Photo by GVLtoday

Meet Scoops. Scoops was born in Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn in 2012. Shortly after being born, Scoops and his sister were transferred to Queens Zoo, where he sustained his injury. Although no one knows the definite cause of the injury, it’s believed he was protecting his sister Penelope from a predator. So, chivalry isn’t dead after all.

Scoops’ keepers created a specialized feeder that allowed him to scoop food into his lower beak instead of pecking at it. Henceforth, he became known as Scoops.

Scoops and Penelope were thick as thieves, and the Queens Zoo didn’t want to split them up, so in 2015 the Greenville Zoo decided to adopt both of them despite his injuries.

Two Rhea Birds at the Greenville Zoo

Can you feel the sibling love? | Photo by GVLtoday

Today, you can find Scoops and Penelope hanging out in the South American Pampas exhibit.

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