Virginia Zoo welcomes newest ambassador, Zeke the parrot


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A 15-year-old Eclectus parrot was welcomed to the Virginia Zoo in early January as an effort to educate visitors on conservation.

The organization says the parrot, fondly named ‘Zeke,’ will become their newest ambassador.

The goal for the zoo’s ambassador program is to train animals well enough to be presented at camps, overnight group visits and outreaches.

Eclectus parrots are originally native to the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia and Australia. Their diet consists of fruit, tree buds, nuts and seeds.

Parrots like Zeke can live to be 40 years old, so he is still considered fairly young at 15. His species is not currently endangered, but researchers aren’t sure of how many there really are.

The zoo says Eclectus parrots are commonly sought after for their colorful feathers, which means the increased loss in habitat makes it easier to be hunted.

Staff members aren’t sure of a date for his big debut, but say it shouldn’t be long after we start to see warmer weather.

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