TOKYO, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A chick has hatched from an egg of a crested ibis given to Japan by China, a conservation center on Sado island off Japan's Niigata Prefecture said Monday.
The Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center said that an egg laid by three-year-old Guan Guan, an ibis given to Japan last October by China, had hatched.
The news of the new hatchling has been warmly welcomed by the center, whose officials saw the chick on Monday morning, and wider Japan where the rare bird is widely revered.
The female crested ibis Guan Guan and the male Lou Lou were both given to Japan by China and as with all crested ibises on Sado, all are descendants from birds given by China.
Japan-born crested ibises became extinct following the last of the birds dying in 2003.
But China has been successful in breeding the internationally protected species and in 1999 donated two birds named You You and Yang Yang to Japan.
Historically, the birds were widespread across Japan, but currently the remaining wild population are found only in China's Shaanxi province.
The conservation center hopes that Guan Guan and Lou Lou will help with the birds' breeding program at the center and Japan's desire for the much-loved birds' revival in the wild.