Birds pick their own mates through dating service set up for them by the Chester zoo.

By People Staff
January 28, 2009 07:00 PM

Frustrated that some of its Ecuadorian Amazon parrots would not mate with each other, Chester Zoo, near Liverpool in England, set up a dating service for them to meet potential love matches at zoos in France, Portugal and Spain. “Being a thoroughly modern zoo, we put the parrots together and give them time to get to know each other and then select their own partner,” Andrew Woolham, team leader for parrots and penguins at Chester Zoo told the BBC. Once pairs bond they stay together at one of their home zoos.

“The birds were not reproducing until we played Cupid,” the zoo told the BBC. The Chester zoo started a Parrot Breeding Centre in 2005 and goes above and beyond to play cupid to parrots. They employ a nutritionist and offer secluded parrot accommodations. This parrot species is considered vulnerable, facing threats from development and the pet trade. The zoo says nine of 10 smuggled birds die, amounting to thousands of this species every year.