Rare Beauties Born at ZooAmerica: Two Thick-Billed Parrots Hatch in Hershey

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Rare Beauties Born at ZooAmerica

Aug 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 logging.

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.

ZooAmerica North 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.

For more 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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