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— Eight feathered friends have moved into the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square.

The Saginaw zoo acquired eight ring-tailed doves that will reside in the facility’s aviary.

The four male and four female doves do not have names just yet, but Education and Conservation Manager Robin Carey said that will change soon.

“We like to name our animals,” Carey said. “The public really enjoys that all of these individual animals have names.”

Carey explained that the names are also helpful to staff members working at the zoo.

Currently employees are the only people able to directly interact with the doves as they complete their standard month-long quarantine.

The public can currently see the birds from outside of their habitat. The zoo expects to open up the aviary to visitors during the first weekend of June, once the quarantine period is complete.

When the aviary is opened up to the public, the cockatiels who were previously residing there will return. Carey said the doves were sought after by the zoo because of their friendly behavior and their ability to tolerate a wider range of temperatures than the cockatiels.

“They were hand-reared,” Carey said of the doves.

In addition to interacting with guests, the staff of the zoo hopes the birds will mate in order to expand the flock.

According to Carey, the zoo is planning to add additional species later this season.

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