Rescued Rare Macaws Settle in at New Zoo Home
Here’s a news story about two Hyacinth Macaws that were seized in a raid on a residence in Calgary. The pair then wound up at the Calgary Zoo. A few other macaws seized were sent to the World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island.
The photo below is of a hyacinth I took at the Minnesota Zoo. The bird was a part of the free flight program there. I’m also probably going to be able to see wild hyacinths this summer, as I’m heading to central Brazil for a conference. There are national parks nearby that have large populations of them.
Rescued rare macaws settle in at new zoo home
Valerie Berenyi, Calgary Herald
Published: Saturday, November 29, 2008
Three-year-old adoptees Buddy and Chipper are settling nicely into their new home.
There’s the normal amount of squawking to be expected from youngsters, but they’re otherwise healthy, cracking nuts and preening their cobalt-blue feathers.
The two rare Hyacinth macaws are the newest additions to the Calgary Zoo.
Buddy and Chipper, both males, were transferred Wednesday from the Calgary Humane Society. The rare birds were surrendered to the society when Calgary police seized them in an unrelated raid on a residence, said Lindsay Jones, communications manager for the society.
“They were healthy, but they were pretty stressed out,” said Jones.
Staff at the humane society cared for the macaws, helping them regain comfort in the new surroundings for about a month before transferring them to the zoo.
“They have quite the personalities to them. They’re very intelligent and they pick up on things very quickly,” said Jones. “We had a staff member walk past them and they wanted attention, so one reached out a grabbed a pen from her back pocket. She had trade them for a nut to get her pen back.”
Hyacinth macaws are the largest parrots in the world. Native to central and eastern South America, they’re increasingly endangered due to habitat loss and the pet trade. Jones said the birds’ value ranges from $8,000 to $20,000 each.
The humane society discourages people from keeping exotic birds as pets. Parrots require a special diet, constant social interaction and can live to be 60.
Dr. Doug Whiteside, a zoo veterinarians, said the birds were born in captivity — one in Ontario, the other in Newfoundland — according to metal bands on their legs.