There is another: Imani lands in Minnesota
Memorial set for Monty on Wednesday at Montrose Beach
Last week was difficult to say the least. It’s been hard to process that we are embarking on a summer without Piping Plovers in Chicago. It’s been hard to process the sudden loss of Monty.
About the only thing that might lift spirits around here was if one of Monty and Rose’s offspring showed up somewhere on the Great Lakes. After all, the prospects of Monty and Rose’s lineage carrying on was starting to look grim. Then the impossible happened:
Imani was one of two chicks that made it to fledging last year. The other, Siewka, aka Zoo Baby, gained fame by hatching at Lincoln Park Zoo. Last summer was a tough one for Monty and Rose. They faced a bizarre incident when a mylar balloon blew against their next exclosure one evening in May, which kept them from incubating for much of a night. And then they lost a clutch of four eggs to a skunk attack. The pair was a little behind schedule when their second clutch hatched, and two of the four young soon went missing. All four members of the plover family went south by the end of summer, but Imani and Siewka weren’t seen again.
Then came the news Friday that Imani was photographed near Duluth, Minn. It was an unbelievable turn of events. Not only was Imani still with us, but he was enjoying a Lake Superior beach about 500 miles north of Chicago. Piping Plovers face much mortality in their first year, including many risks during winter and migration. And Friday was National Endangered Species Day no less.
“I’m simply saying that life finds a way,” says Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm character in “Jurassic Park.” In the world of Great Lakes Piping Plovers, a species that once dipped to a couple dozen individuals, that indeed is the case.
A memorial for Monty will take place this Wednesday at 6 p.m., at the dunes habitat addition. If you aren’t familiar with the area, it is generally between The Dock restaurant and Lake Michigan.