David and Kate Mercieca are not the only new additions to Snakes Downunder, with the first-time zoo owners recently welcoming a pair of hyacinth macaws to the popular Childers wildlife park.
The macaws have been added to the zoo with the hope of beginning a breeding program as David and Kate look to expand the current animals on display.
David said the opportunity to bring new species to the park was exciting and something that the couple were planning to continue to do into the future.
“We have these two hyacinth macaws which we are looking forward to introducing to the park,” David said.
“They are currently in their newly built holding aviary while they get used to the new environment, and down the track we will be moving them into the park alongside the other species of birds.”
The birds have been sent to the zoo from New South Wales and are expected to be on display for the public within about six months’ time.
“The move from New South Wales has affected them a little bit but they have settled in well here,” David said.
“They are almost ready to go out and we are just finalising plans to get their enclosures finished in the park.”
The hyacinth macaw is native to central and eastern South America and is the largest parrot in the world.
According to The Animal Facts, a mature individual may measure as much as 1 metre long and weigh up to 1.6kg.
David and Kate said the macaws were on the list of many animals they hoped to introduce at the Childers zoo.
“We are excited to build on the addition of the macaws by hopefully introducing some other new species of animals such as monkeys,” he said.
“We have a bit of a list we will work on to expand the park and introduce some new animals.”
Ian and Barb Jenkins sold the Snakes Downunder business to new owners David and Kate Mercieca earlier this year as they relocate to Brisbane after 15 years of operating the park.
Snakes Down Under is open from 9.30am to 3pm, although closed on Wednesdays.
You can find out more about Snakes Downunder here.
Other stories: Ian and Barb pass on the Snakes Downunder baton