STAFF at a Hampshire zoo are crossing their fingers as they try and breed one of their rarest birds.

Bulu is a male wrinkled hornbill, with Marwell Zoo hoping to breed him with Cinta, a female they have paired with him.

The birds are usually found in the Thai Peninsula, and the European Endangered species breeding programme (EEP) has recommended that the zoo pair them up as they try and bring in more offspring.

Meg Fieldhouse, team leader for birds at Marwell Wildlife said: “They are spending a lot of time together out and about in the enclosure.

“Bulu has recently been attempting to give Cinta food items and this is positive pair-bonding behaviour.

“At the moment, she seems a little confused by what he is trying to do, but this is probably because she is still young.

“She will understand eventually.”

In the wild, the birds have faced problems with illegal logging in protected areas, land conversion and forest fires.

The birds rely on undisturbed primary rainforest to thrive, so they are greatly affected by damage to their habitat.

The two have been at the zoo for four months, but following the EEP recommendation to pair them, they are hoping to produce offspring.