What's Happening in St Ives blog

Kea chicks keep staff busy

Wildlife park staff have had their hands full at the start of this year as they have been hand-rearing some Kea chicks.

The chicks were born at the Paradise Park, in Hayle, and needed to be looked after by staff instead of their parents to ensure their survival.

Director Nick Reynolds explained: “We decided to hand-rear these chicks due to the parents having been unsuccessful at rearing their own chicks in the past.

“They are from a new bloodline, so we will be able to place them with the chicks we had last year to create new pairs in future years. They will then be able to move on to other bird collections throughout Europe.”

He said the Kea chicks were ‘very noisy’ and members of the public can see this for themselves with a video on the park’s website.

The Kea parrots are a close relative of the flightless green Kakapo parrot from New Zealand, which was recently featured in Stephen Fry’s film about rare species.

The Kea is classified as a ‘vulnerable’ species because other animals often get into their nests and steal the eggs and chicks.

They are well known for their curiosity and intelligence, and were ranked as the third brightest species on the BBC’s Britain’s Cleverest Animal programme.

Staff at Paradise Park decided to test this for themselves and filmed the Keas taking part in a test that involved pulling strings to get to food treats. The birds passed with flying colours and then went on to destroy the whole test box and the mini cameras.

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