Rare Beauties Born at ZooAmericaAug 16, 2011
(Hershey, Pa.) – ZooAmerica North
American Wildlife Park welcomed two baby thick-billed parrots to its exhibit at
the end of June – a significant achievement in working toward the preservation
of a species that has been endangered since 1973.
The two chicks are the second successful hatching at the Zoo
since the babies’ mother, Paula, was born here in 2001.
Thick-billed parrots are one of only two parrot species
known to be native to the United States. They were once found in the pine
forests of southern Arizona and New Mexico but are now limited to northwestern
Mexico. (The other native species was the Carolina parakeet, which became
extinct in 1918.) It’s estimated that today only 1,000 to 4,000 thick-billed
parrots exist in the wild due to loss of habitat from commercial
Visitors to ZooAmerica might catch a glimpse of the chicks, which will boast bright
green feathers with a touch of red, in the thick-billed parrot exhibit outside
the The Great Southwest building of the Zoo. The chicks like to spend most of
their time at the highest elevation of their exhibit and won’t leave their nests
until they’re at leasttwo months old, but the Zoo’s adult birds
are always ready to greet guests.
With the addition of the two chicks, ZooAmerica is now
home to a flock of six thick-billed parrots. It’s the only zoo in Pennsylvania
to house the endangered species.
ZooAmerica is excited
about the addition of the parrots, as they allow naturalists to teach the public
about the importance of an endangered species and how everyone can help protect
their natural habitat. In addition to the thick-billed parrots, ZooAmerica is
home to other endangered species, including black-footed ferrets and ocelots.
Those species are also found in The Great Southwest region of the Zoo.
The public can actually play a role
in this important milestone by helping to name the chicks this fall, after the
Zoo determines the sexes of the young birds. Participants will be able to vote
on names at www.ZooAmerica.com or in person at the Zoo.
American Wildlife Park is an 11-acre, year-round, walk-through zoo that is home
to more than 200 animals representing more than 60 North American species. Open
daily, ZooAmerica is one of only eight zoos in Pennsylvania accredited by the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and prides itself on following its
mission of conservation.
information about ZooAmerica
and its thick-billed parrots, visit
www.ZooAmerica.com or call 717-534-3900.
Words in boldface are used under license.
Hershey Entertainment &
Resorts is proud to help fulfill
the dream of our mutual founder, Milton S. Hershey, by supporting Milton Hershey
School, the largest home and school in the world, as it continues to provide
opportunities for children in need. www.mhskids.org
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