Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Zoo's 'dating agency' for parrots

Parrots at Chester Zoo
The dating has been introduced to encourage breeding

Breeders at Chester Zoo have been finding love for their parrots by sending them dating.

The zoo set up a "dating agency" for its Ecuadorian Amazon parrots, enabling them to meet other birds at zoos and wildlife parks across Europe.

The parrots have been to France, Portugal and Germany to stay with other birds, allowing them to pick their own mates and start breeding.

The zoo said: "The birds were not reproducing until we played Cupid."

'Thoroughly modern'

Amazon parrots from throughout the UK and Europe are now involved in the scheme.

Andrew Woolham, team leader for parrots and penguins at Chester Zoo, said: "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.

"The pair will eventually bond by preening and spending all their time together.

"Once they are officially an item, we can send them on to other collections to start their new life together and hopefully they will breed."



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