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EXTRACT AVAILABLE FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: News24

Southern ground hornbills broke so many windows and scared so many pupils at a school in southern Zimbabwe it was shut down  for a week, the official Sunday News reported.

© Vaiz Ha
© Vaiz Ha

Parents pleaded for Zhombili Primary School to be closed after the big-beaked birds, native to southern Africa, broke classroom windows, terrifying the young pupils. The males of the species attack their reflections in glass.

ground hornbill
© Lip Kee

Teachers complained the birds had made the school unmanageable.

School development committee chair Douglas Sibanda told the newspaper: “The big problem we face is that these birds are destroying windows… Parents have mooted an idea of having parents on guard during weekends as that is when these birds come down to the school.”

The school cannot afford to employ a caretaker. It reopened for lessons last week.

Southern ground hornbills are classed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means they are in danger of becoming extinct.

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