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6 things to know about kea, the Zoo's newest parrot species

In late 2018, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomed two kea from an aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah. Keep reading below for 6 things to know about these fascinating birds!


1. Kea are a great fit for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo because they are cold tolerant mountain parrots from New Zealand. Your Zoo has two male kea named Roy and Takaro. They are eight years old and can be seen almost all year long in Australian Adventure near the Reinberger Homestead.

2. Kea are known for their intelligence. They can solve logical puzzles and work well together to achieve a certain objective. Check out this video from National Geographic showcasing a kea’s problem solving skills!

kea3Photo by Zoo member Jim Carey

3. Studies have shown that a specific kea call puts other kea in a good mood! In humans, this can be similar to infectious laughter in people near each other.

4. Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, kea populations are in danger due to farming, ranching, habitat shifting, hunting, invasive nonnative species and disease.

5. Kea are curious and playful birds, giving them the nickname “the clown of the mountains.” Eager to investigate and explore new things, kea are known for stealing from New Zealand tourists!


6. At a quick glance, kea look to be mostly olive green in color, but they have orange-red on the underside of their wings.

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