Are There Parrots In Zoos? (Answered!)

We have always had parrots in our home, and my young children asked me, ‘Are there parrots in zoos, Dad?’.

They have always known parrots as a family pet, and it occurred to me they see parrots much like a cat or a dog in the home as others may think of a parrot as a more exotic animal.

Let’s dive into it and answer the question, Are there parrots in zoos?

The answer is yes; many zoos care for parrots and give them a permanent home. Often a zoo will have a conservation breeding program for parrots to support species numbers and aim to release them back into the wild.

Many of us may wonder if it is beneficial for parrots to be in captivity.

Imagining parrots kept in cages with little freedom; however, zoos are very well equipped to care for them and can provide them with everything they need to thrive before encouraging them back into their natural habitat in the wild.  

Not all parrots will be reintroduced to the wild depending on their individual needs.

For some parrots, they may have a better quality of life in captivity.

This article will investigate why parrots live in a zoo, if it is cruel to keep a parrot in a zoo, where parrots live in the wild, and much more.

Let’s look into all the answers about parrots being kept in zoos.


Why do parrots live in a zoo?

Keeping parrots in zoos reduces the risk of extinction.

By supporting breeding numbers in captivity, it improves the chances of many parrot species increasing in numbers.

Therefore, parrots continue to thrive in the wild by reintroducing them to their natural habitat. 


Will a zoo rehome my parrot?

It is unlikely a zoo will rehome your parrot unless it fits in with their plan.

A domesticated bird will have trouble adjusting to birds at the zoo.

Life can sometimes change, and you may need to rehome your parrot for many reasons.

Here is a list of ways to help you rehome a parrot if you can no longer care for them.

Contact your local bird rescue centers

The rescue centers are a supportive and non-judgmental arrangement for rehoming a parrot.

Some will find your parrot a forever-loving home with a new owner, as some will offer a parrot sanctuary where they will live happily with other parrots.

This is a responsible and caring way of rehoming your parrot, knowing they will be cared for.


Contact your local bird or aviculture society

Many members of associated clubs and organizations will be willing to take care of a rehomed parrot.

They will have a genuine interest in caring for them as well as understanding a parrot’s needs.

Using a local club can offer you support in your decision to rehome your pet and even be able to provide you with the chance to stay in touch with your parrot after the rehoming process.



You can list your parrot up for adoption if you feel uncomfortable with contacting a club or society.

You can advertise in local newspapers or an online ad.

It is your responsibility to ensure the parrot goes to a good home and interview potential new owners.  

It is advised not to put your parrot as ‘free to a good home.’  

By ensuring someone is willing to pay an adoption fee, your parrot is likely to be in safe hands and will continue to be well cared for.


Contact your vet

Your vet is a valuable source of information, and they will be able to guide you through a rehoming decision.

They will have relevant contacts and trustworthy resources to help.


Discuss with friends and family

If you would like to maintain a relationship with your parrot, friends and family may help.

That way, you can visit your parrot regularly and have trust in your loved ones to care for them. 

Respect the answer you are given either way.

Explain in full why you are looking to rehome your parrot so they can make a clear and considered choice.


Can I feed a parrot at the zoo?

It is unlikely you will be able to feed a parrot at the zoo.

The zookeepers have to ensure the parrots are fed a balanced and healthy diet to keep them in tip-top condition.

If the public feeds the parrots, they are likely to have over-feeding issues and increase the risk of weight gain.

The zookeepers will normally feed parrots morning and evening.

If you visit during feeding hours, you may watch the parrots feed on fresh fruit, vegetables, and seeds.


Can I buy a parrot at the zoo?

No, you won’t be able to buy a parrot from the zoo.

These parrots are not classed as domesticated pets.

Many of them are aimed to be reintroduced to the wild.

If you wish to purchase a parrot, do research in your local area and find a reputable breeder who can advise you on how to care for a parrot before making a long-term commitment.


Why is the zoo parrot swearing at me?

Parrots are highly intelligent, and they pick up on many things we say.

Parrots learn that swear words create a reaction or a response.

The parrot may not understand the words meaning; however, the laughing or shocked reaction to the swearing encourages them to do it more.

Ultimately the parrot is trying to communicate with you, which seems heartwarming if you can remove the meaning from the swear word used.


Is it cruel for parrots to live in zoos?

If you search online, you may find some cruel stories.

Most zoos are very well equipped to look after parrots and maintain high standards for their care.

Some parrots in zoos wouldn’t survive in the wild due to their own circumstances, and other parrots are on track to be reintroduced to the wild.


Where do parrots live in the wild?

The majority of parrots live in the Southern Hemisphere due to the warmer climates.

You will find wild parrots in areas like Mexico, Australia, South America, and Central America.

It may come as a surprise not all parrots like the warm weather.

Some will be in snowier climates, breeds such as the maroon-fronted parrot and keas.


What species of parrots are at the zoo?

There are a whopping 372 species of parrots in the world.

You may see any of them at the zoo if the bird was deemed to have a better quality of life in captivity or part of a conservation effort.

There is no promise of what breeds you may see at the zoo due to there being so many it is unlikely any one zoo will have all of them.



There you have the answers about parrots and zoos.

We have learned why parrots are in zoos and even why parrots swear at us.

I hope this gives you an understanding of why parrots are kept in zoos and how you can safely enjoy them from afar.  

The question will always exist if keeping parrots in captivity is cruel; however, most zoos only wish to help the animals they care for and increase their survival rates.  

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