Welcome to the rainforest: Oro the macaw

April 14, 2019

With the re-opening of the rainforest exhibit, Oro, the Pueblo Zoo's blue and gold macaw, is getting ready to make a comeback. Zookeepers are putting the finishing touches on custom propping for her home. Oro has always had toe problems and with age, that has gotten worse so zookeepers have designed special props to help her get around.

 

Oro stayed busy while on hiatus as the rainforest roof was repaired. Keepers worked diligently and patiently on training with her. Training is not meant for entertainment but to teach practical behaviors that will assist in her care. Keepers are working on have her step up onto their arm instead of a post so it is easier to handle her and help her get to places she needs to be. Oro is very good at spreading her wings high and wide on the verbal prompt "wings". This behavior is technically to help with feather trimming but she has gotten so good at it that she will show off her skills to just about anyone who raises their arms high, and says in a high pitch "wings". So go ahead, try it when you visit.

 

Though Oro is 42, that is possibly only middle age as macaws can live more than 60 years in captivity. The fact that they can outlive human owners is just one of several reasons that one has to think very carefully before getting a macaw as a pet. Though they can be very charismatic and entertaining and it can be fun to hear them mimic human words, they are incredibly noisy and do not stand for being hushed. They also have very powerful beaks that are designed to crush nuts making them a risk to human fingers, ears and other body parts. Most importantly, illegal trapping for the pet trade has threatened their very existence in the wild and has even caused the extinction of certain macaw species.

 

A better choice may be to visit the Pueblo Zoo to enjoy the beauty of this majestic bird. Guests are invited to come see the reopening of the Tropical Rainforest as it gradually comes back to life. New plants are growing. More animals and birds are coming in every week as exhibits are being finished and it is getting warm enough to transport tropical species. And when you visit, don't forget to say "hi" (or "wings") to Oro.

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Pueblo Zoo  • 3455 Nuckolls Ave.  •  Pueblo, CO 81005  

Phone: 719-561-1452  Fax: 719-561-8986

 

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