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New macaw exhibit coming to Indianapolis Zoo

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indianapolis Zoo is preparing to open a “Magnificent Macaws” exhibit later this month.

“So six times a day these birds are going to be flying to the Bicentennial Pavilion and they will be doing really big loops out here in the zoo," Natural Encounters Professional Bird Trainer Katelyn Ferringer said. "They are going to fly wherever they want to fly so the guest may get a really, really close encounter with these birds, because they do fly really low to the ground.”

Ferringer said macaws are best known for their colorful feathers and intelligence.

Currently, the birds are about half way through their training of learning the zoo's terrain, which includes flying to a pretend canopy, or lift, in different areas of the zoo.

“They have their holding, their flight that they all live in, and we started with the lift right outside that window and they were flying straight to that lift and then right back inside and then as they’ve progressed we’ve moved the lift further and further away," Ferringer said.

Eventually, the birds will fly to the zoo's new Bicentennial Pavilion. The pavilion is a new outdoor space that will feature the macaws and also be a venue for zoo events like Zoobilation.

"The architecture of (the pavilion gives) you the feeling of being under a forest canopy," Zoo Spokeswoman Carla Knapp said. "So having the birds as part of the new programming with the Bicentennial Pavilion fits right in with that theme.”

The macaw exhibit is scheduled to open this Memorial Day at the zoo.