A Kea Goodbye

This week we bid farewell to two of our kea, Takaro and Roy. They are off on a new adventure at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Cleveland zookeepers have been anxiously awaiting their landing and preparing their new exhibit for their arrival.  

Our two curious kea will be packed in a double enclosure on their trip and their crates will be filled with interactive toys to keep them busy and safe as they fly to Cleveland.

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Takaro and Roy are brothers that have been at Tracy Aviary since 2012. They came to the Aviary when they were about a year and a half old. Some entertaining insights on the duo: Takaro loves blueberries and Roy loves peanuts. Roy is the more reserved of the two, and Takaro has a more outgoing personality.

The brothers have been together their whole life and get along really well. We will miss our feathered friends, but we’re excited for Cleveland to help us to tell the story of our amazing kea friends.

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The goal of our kea exhibit is to provide an environment for Kea to match up with approved pairs as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Within the next few months, you’ll be able to see Scarlet’s two new potential suitors, Arthur and Steve Austin. The AZA acts as an animal matchmaker. They carefully analyze each bird and pair them up with other birds that would be an ideal match for healthy, genetically diverse offspring.  

Tracy Aviary is home to a unique, one-of-a-kind match-making facility designed to give our kea the ability to choose a mate. In the wild, breeding typically occurs when kea have multiple options for suitors. Unlike the majority of zoos in the country, our exhibit allows us to give our female kea, Scarlet, the chance to meet male kea to choose from.

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For the safety of the birds, the introduction period is a slow process. First, there is a quarantine period. Then our keepers base the introduction on how the birds react with each other. The keepers pay careful attention to the way that all birds react in order to make sure the transition is a smooth one.

We find that our kea are often more active as the temperature drops, so it’s the perfect time to plan your visit to Tracy Aviary. Keep an eye out for Scarlet’s new suitors coming from the Cincinnati Zoo in November, and don’t forget that we’re open 363 days a year!    

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