Rare hyacinth macaw parrot that 'looks more like a dinosaur' born at Chester Zoo

Baby Jessie is receiving round the clock care from staff 

Heather Saul
Thursday 17 July 2014 12:51 BST

A rare parrot has become the star attraction among staff and guests at Chester Zoo thanks to its unusual appearance, with keepers claiming the creature 'looks more like a baby dinosaur' than a chick.

The month-old parrot has been given the name Jessie until staff can determine its sex and is currently receiving round-the-clock care after it was hatched in an incubator.

Jessie, who was born at Chester Zoo to parents named James Bond and Miss Moneypenny, is currently being cared for in a tupperware tub, which staff say is doubling as a crib because she is so small.

Hyacinth macaws are native to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay and are considered an endangered species due to their rapidly declining numbers.

The species has been threatened by the illegal pet trade and land clearance to make way for cattle-rearing. Increasing their numbers is made all the more difficult by their naturally slow reproductive rate.

Keeper Karen Neech told the Chester Chronicle: “It’s hard to believe that our chick will eventually start to spring some beautiful deep blue feathers – at the moment it looks more like a dinosaur crossed with a plucked chicken!

“But with all of the care and attention we’re giving, it’s growing bigger and stronger by the day.

“At the moment I’m feeding it a special mixture of powdered vitamins every two hours between 6am until 11pm. This will go on for around three months until the bird is weaned and can feed by itself."

Ms Neech said Jessie's hatching comes as a "major step forward" in the zoo's efforts to "ensure a healthy insurance population of these stunning birds exists in zoos".

Staff at the zoo say its feathers will be sent for DNA analysis to determine its sex - when Jessie eventually grows some.

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