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Hamilton Zoo welcomes special macaw pair

Hamilton Zoo welcomes special macaw pair

29 may 2013

For Immediate Release

A special pair of scarlet macaws are the newest residents of Hamilton Zoo.

The male and female macaws (Ara macao) arrived on Friday 24 May and are extra special as they are a completely genetically unrelated pair.

Although their exact ages are unknown, they are of breeding age and Hamilton Zoo hopes they will breed in the near future.

The pair came from former Hilldale Game Farm owner Murray Powell who, with his wife Gloria, opened the Hilldale Zoo and Wildlife Park in 1969.

Since his retirement and Hamilton City Council taking over management of Hamilton Zoo in 1976, Mr Powell has still had a close connection with the zoo.

“Murray has extensive knowledge of exotic birds and has provided invaluable support to Hamilton Zoo over many years” said Education Team Leader Ken Millwood.

“He has helped out on numerous occasions with the hand-raising and rearing of some of our birds, and it is fantastic that we have been able to add these two beautiful birds to our collection so that we can all enjoy them.”

The keepers will now spend the coming months getting to know the personalities of the birds – with the female macaw already showing to be a ‘pretty feisty lady’!

The birds can be found in the zoo’s Parrot Court. Make sure you head down and check them out during the long weekend!

Did you know?
• Scarlet macaws come from Central and South America and are native to humid evergreen forest in the American tropics.
• Their diet consists of fruits, nuts seeds and occasionally nectar and flowers.
• Macaws are the longest parrots in the world - the body of the scarlet macaw can be as long as 96cm.
• Scarlet macaws mate in monogamous pairs, forming bonds that last a lifetime.
• They can live up to 75 years in captivity, although a more typical lifespan is 40 to 50 years.
• Parrots frequently use their left foot in handling food and in grasping other things. This left handed condition seems to be based on the same principle as the preferential hand that humans utilise.


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