Supporting Conservation by Adopting Exotic Bird Species

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Feeding time at the zoo has never been so exciting for two exotic bird species at Chester Zoo.

The Pekin Robins and Wrinkled Hornbills at the charity zoo have both been officially adopted by us.

We will donate bird food to the value of £3,000 to Chester Zoo each year, to help feed the large number of avian species on display.

This frees up extra money to be diverted into conservation and education projects.

Maddy Johnston, our Marketing and Media Manager, said Chester Zoo was involved in some extremely valuable conversation work and supporting that through the global pandemic was a priority for the company.

She said: “Lockdown has been extremely detrimental for all visitor attractions, but zoos have been particularly hard-hit because of the need to continue caring for the animals without the income of the public.

“This means that all the fantastic extra work zoos do – playing a vital role in conservation and providing education programmes – has had to take a backseat.

“Chester Zoo is a long-term customer of ours and we spoke to them about how we could help. Between us, we decided adopting these two beautiful species was a great idea, so that’s what we did.”

We received their official certificates of adoption earlier this month, which have taken pride of place in the company’s office in Gilberdyke.

Plaques marking the adoption will also be put up in the relevant habitats at Chester Zoo, informing all those who visit the aviaries about the adoption.

Maddy added that we decided on the species to adopt at random because there were so many beautiful birds to choose from.

“We knew we wanted to adopt birds, because that fits so well with what we do,” she said.

“But beyond that, everyone had different ideas, so in the end we just picked these two at random. We’re very pleased we ended up with the ones we did though.”

Dr Mark Pilgrim, Chief Executive Officer at Chester Zoo, said: “Although the zoo has reopened, which is vital to our future survival, there’s still a long way to go before we’re fully back on track.

“Our closure due to the pandemic has left a huge £5.5m scar in our finances, so there is no denying that there will be some very challenging times ahead for this great charity zoo.

“We’re so incredibly grateful to everyone who has rallied around us. We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the love, support and kindness that we’ve been shown. Each and every donation is absolutely crucial to us – helping to make sure we have a future in our mission to prevent extinction.”

Adult Wrinkled Hornbills stand around 70cm tall and have a very large bill which is fused to their skull. They have black plumage with a blue eye ring. Males have bright yellow features on the cheeks, throat and chest.

The live in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo, and their conservation status is endangered according to the IUCN Red List.

The Pekin Robin is neither from Pekin nor a robin! It is native to the south China and the Himalayas.

Adults have bright red bills and yellow eye rings. They have a bright yellow throat, a yellow chin and an olive green back. Their conservation status is least concern, although numbers are in decline due to habitat loss.

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