AMBASSADOR ANIMALS

BIRDS

 

Blueberry
Female knobbed hornbill
Rhyticeros cassidix

Blueberry hatched at Woodland Park Zoo in 1997 and was raised by a zookeeper. There were a few unsuccessful attempts to find her a mate before she became an Ambassador Animal.

Blueberry loves interacting with her keepers and guests at the zoo! She’s good at catching fruit in mid-air and being rewarded with figs, blackberries, grapes and blueberries.

Buddy
Pharaoh eagle-owl
Bubo ascalaphus

Buddy came to WPZ in 2013 when he was a year old. He was raised by a company that trains birds-of-prey to scare off smaller birds that eat crops.

Papu
Burrowing owl

Profile information coming soon!

Lola
Aplomado falcon
Falco femoralis

Lola used to work on a blueberry farm, chasing away birds who ate the crops, but she wanted to hang out with the farmers instead of doing her job! Now she interacts with guests at the zoo.

Although she likes people and demonstrating her amazing flying abilities, Lolca can be quite protective of her territory, the Wildlife Theater.

Modoc “Mo”
Turkey vulture
Cathartes aura

Modoc is the oldest raptor at the zoo! After hatching in 1986, Mo was at a rehabilitation center but was too imprinted on humans to return to the wild. He came to Woodland Park Zoo in 1989.

Modoc enjoys working with veteran zookeepers and can show how adept he is at recycling (putting items in bins). However, when new keepers are getting to know Mo, he likes to test their resolve by pinching them.

Paco and Pluma
Chilean flamingoes
Phoenicopterus chilensis

When both of these flamingoes were abandoned as eggs in 2016, keepers at Woodland Park Zoo stepped in to hatch and rear them.

The flamingoes regularly follow their keepers around zoo grounds for exercise and leg strengthening. Someday they may also be in a program.

Coba
Spectacled owl
Pulsatrix perspicillata

Coba hatched at Woodland Park Zoo in 1992. He’s been “training” new staff and volunteers how to work with raptors for over two decades.

Coba is laid-back and has an easy personality, which is why he often works with new staff. He likes to eat dead mice and quail, and he loves it when his keepers give him head scratches.

Flick
Laughing kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae

Flick was at the National Aquarium, where he made it clear that he did not like living with other birds, so he became an Ambassador Animal at Woodland Park Zoo in 2015.

Flick is very independent. Sometimes during training, he purposely choses to do the direct opposite of what a keeper asks for, and then “laughs” with pride. His keepers know he is expressing his right to choose what he wants to do, and they admire him for it!

Cree
Ferruginous hawk
Buteo regalis

Cree hatched in the wild in 1991 and was caught by a licensed falconer. She worked in falconry (hunting with a trained bird of prey) until she was donated to the zoo in 1999.

Cree loves to fly loops around the Wildlife Theater, sometimes soaring close to unsuspecting guests as they walk past. Keepers often work with her to be patient and wait—she’s full of energy and ready to go!

Granny
Vulturine guineafowl
Acryllium vulturinum

Granny lived at a zoo in Texas for many years before coming to Woodland Park Zoo. She used to be on exhibit, but her keeper let us know that she much preferred to be with humans rather than other birds. Now she often greets guests before the start of a program. 

As her name implies, Granny is very old for a guineafowl! She is partially deaf and has a cataract in her left eye. However, that doesn’t stop her from being sweet with the staff members she likes, and chasing the ones she doesn’t like as much!

Gunnar
Red-tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis

As a young bird in the wild, Gunnar was hit by a car. Luckily someone took him to a rehabilitation facility where he recovered except for permanent blindness in his left eye. Unable to survive in the wild, he’s made a home at Woodland Park Zoo since 2009.

Although he’s blind in one eye, he can still demonstrate natural raptor hunting behavior by flying and catching stuffed squirrels on the ground.

Layla
Peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus

Layla hatched in 1998 and was being trained to be used in falconry (hunting with a trained bird of prey). However, she didn’t seem to be interested in it and was donated to the zoo.

Luna
Barn Owl
Tyto alba

Luna hatched in 2000 and came to the zoo when he was a month old to be a part of the raptor flight team.

Cisco
Harris’s hawk
Parabuteo unicinctus

Cisco hatched in 1987 and came to WPZ in 1988 as one of the first birds to join the raptor flight program.

Harris’s hawks live in family groups in the wild, so Cisco gets along with his keepers very well, but it takes a while for him to accept someone new. Sometimes he flies off course, but always returns to the Wildlife Theater, calling to his keepers to let them know he’s back.