Latin America, Caribbean Quick Takes: Brazilian Zoo Takes Parakeets Under its Wing; Theme Parks Give Back to Their Communities
Brazilian Zoo Takes 300 Parakeets Under its Wing
Guests visiting Parque das Aves this summer will be surrounded by more cheerful chirping than usual. The private zoo located in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil, near the world-famous Iguaçu Falls, is the new home for 300 parakeets rescued from smugglers during crackdowns on animal trafficking.
The birds came from several rescue centers across Brazil, in addition to many zoos, and reflect the sad reality of illegally purchasing wild animals as pets.
The parakeets are now able to spread their wings in a new nursery named Cecropia. The habitat is about 53,000 square feet, one of the largest in the world and quite the project to complete.
“The nursery is located within the Atlantic Forest, so it was designed with sustainable construction methods, without damaging the ecosystem,” says Carmel Croukamp, general director of Parque das Aves. The structure, parts, and columns were manufactured by the zoo’s own team, with the workers using their own hands to prevent the entry of trucks that would have compacted the soil.
In this new space, guests will not only learn about the animals, but also get up close and personal by feeding the birds. Parque das Aves is one of the few institutions in the world focused on the conservation of Atlantic Forest birds. The park welcomes 830,000 visitors per year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Foz do Iguaçu.
Giving Back During a Time of Need
Despite uncertain times during the global pandemic, signs of hope and humanity blossomed at many theme parks across Latin America, with industry leaders giving back to their communities.
In early summer, Hopi Hari, one of Brazil’s largest amusement parks near São Paulo, announced it would offer health professionals free park entry for a whole month upon reopening.
“This is our way of saying ‘danki di tum tum,’ which in Hopanese means ‘heartfelt thanks,’ to professionals in health posts, hospitals, and laboratories fighting the pandemic and saving millions of lives,” explains Alexandre Rodrigues, park president. In a matter of hours after making the announcement, the free admission offer went viral on social media, resulting in more than 50,000 registrations.
Another campaign that got much attention came from Brazil’s Hot Park, a water park located in Rio Quente, known for its natural thermal waters. Amid closure, Hot Park launched a campaign called “Together for the Community,” where the park plans to donate all ticket sales during a period of time to social causes extending from the pandemic. The campaign not only got guests excited about giving back to the community, but also made a splash, giving them a future visit to look forward to.