After 19 years of trying, Keepers at Chester Zoo in the UK have finally succeeded in the breeding of an extremely rare parrot. These three Philippine Cockatoo chicks are the first to be born at the zoo and are being hand-reared after recently hatching in incubators. The chicks, which look a bit like tiny dinosaurs, are now receiving round-the-clock care in their precious early days - and yes, they are nestled in a Walls ice cream tub!
Andy Woolham, Team Manager of Parrots and Penguins, said, “The species has a very aggressive nature and that makes successful breeding a very rare occurrence. That’s why this is incredibly significant for their conservation."
"We have been trying to persuade them to breed since the first birds arrived at the zoo in 1992, Woolham continued. "During this time there has been a program of dietary and environmental review, which has helped us to make changes to how we look after them and ultimately resulted in this success. It has been a long burning ambition of mine and I just can’t stop smiling! It is so important that a secure safety net population of this species is established in zoos.”
Also known as the Red Vented Cockatoo, the species is critically endangered in the wild due to a combination of illegal trapping for the pet trade and habitat loss.Chester Zoo supports conservation programs for the species in its natural home and works closely with organisations in the Philippines. These efforts have seen numbers increase over recent years but the species still remains under threat.