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Fowl play: Cockatoos at new bird park caught tearing down signage, biting wires

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Singapore’s new bird park in Mandai has barely opened its doors to the public, but some of its residents have already started to cause trouble in paradise.

Visitors have spotted some of the Bird Paradise’s cockatoos trying to take apart park signage with their beaks and biting into wires in one of the park’s aviaries where the birds can fly freely among park-goers.

University undergrad Kelvin Lin caught the feathery vandals in the act when he visited the park on Monday afternoon.

In a video he posted to TikTok, a blue-eyed cockatoo can be seen using its beak to pull apart parts of a sign that says “Mysterious Papua”, before dropping them onto the visitor boardwalk.

“Debris (from the sign) was on the floor,” said Mr Lin, 24, who added that the birds had damaged multiple parts of the sign.

Another blue-eyed cockatoo was seen chomping down on a thick wire along with its feathered friend, a salmon-crested cockatoo.

“Most birds were very well-behaved, except for these cockatoos. There were a few non-destructive cockatoos just chilling, but the rest were just on to something,” he said.

While it might be surprising that the birds are damaging their new home, Mandai Wildlife Group’s vice-president of animal care Luis Neves said such behaviour is an indication that they are adapting well to their new environment.

“In general, the parrot species are extremely intelligent, and have an inquisitive and curious nature,” he said.

“They like to investigate objects and do so using their beaks; chewing and dismantling their objects of interest is a natural and instinctive behavior for parrots.”

The Bird Paradise, which opened its doors on May 8, features walk-through aviaries where birds can fly freely, simulating their natural habitats.

Dr Neves said none of the birds have been injured from their “curious quests”.

@maybekelvin

The ✨Destroyers✨ #mandaibirdparadise #birds @Mandai Wildlife Reserve #fyp

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That said, bird keepers are thinking of ways to keep the cockatoos from doing more damage, added Dr Neves.

“The keepers are working on a mix of positive reinforcement training and enrichment to keep them away from the features, while allowing them to be engaged and entertained,” he said.

“We are also exploring ways to bird-proof some of the fittings that the parrots may find more interesting.”

BIRDSMandai Wildlife GroupANIMAL ANTICS