A 14-year-old female shoebill named Abou is currently at the Exmoor Zoo in Devon, England waiting for a male to be born through an international breeding program. The program was created in order to boost the number of shoebills in the world, as there are currently only 3,000 to 5,000 left in the wild. Once a suitable match is born, he and Abou will be introduced in the hopes that they will produce offspring. Simona Kitanovska writing for Newsweek explains:
An extremely rare "dinosaur" bird, the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom, is patiently waiting for a lifelong mate to help save her entire species.
Abou the female shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) recently arrived at Exmoor Zoo in Devon, England, as part of an international breeding program to save her species.
The unique-looking bird is just one of 11 shoebills in the world currently in captivity – and now the only one in the U.K.
While she's waiting to save her species (but no pressure, right?!) go watch this video about these impossibly odd creatures, where you can learn all about their weird looks and the very bizarre machine-gun sounds they make.